Making it Home Safe

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Beautiful scenery during the day

It’s not often that the only thought that crosses my mind is for me to make it home safe and sound to my loved ones.  Yet this unpleasant thought has crossed my mind more times than I wish while driving along the dark, twisted, lonesome highway where I work.  

There’s no avoiding that particular highway as it is the only road that reaches one town to the next.  At night, the road transforms from a pleasant drive with a magnificent scenery into a treacherous place.  

Fog shifts in from the mountain sides making it impossible to see more than a few feet ahead.  You toggle with the fog lights but it only causes the beam to reflect off the clouds and shine straight back at you.  Darkness cast shadows across the whole road, no street lights are there to illuminate the way.  While you play the guessing game of making out the faded traffic lines that twists and turns along with the highway, you also battle the oncoming semi-truck lights as they blind you with their fierce light.  One false twist and you’ll fly off a cliff or over a bridge into the raging cold river.  Mix heavy pounding rain, slippery snow, black ice, occasional rock slides, and the flashing red and white lights to the combination and it’s utterly disastrous.

There’s no room for error.  You know you can’t make an error, it is out of the question.  Your patient’s life, your partner’s life, your life, it’s all in your hands.  

No pressure.  

There have been many numerous motor vehicle accidents along this twisty road, many of which have been fatal.  It’s sometimes impossible not to think if I could be the one next.  It’s never a pleasant thought.  It’s why I have complete empathy for the two paramedics who passed away last year when they rolled off a highway on a night shift.  It’s why I slow down, because at the end of the day, I just want to make it home.  Safe.

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Comments
5 Responses to “Making it Home Safe”
  1. Jason Oko says:

    This is why we do this job. Not only to help those in dire need of our skills but to support our family financially. Volunteering is noble but getting paid and getting home are great.

  2. Joe says:

    Always admired paramedics. My Uncle is one and I can only imagine the constant demand the job requires of him. A paramedic can’t be anything less than excellent in all that he/she does.

  3. Chez Starz says:

    That was a great post. I have been a paramedic in the San Francisco bay area for 17 years. My parents live on Vancouver Island and just told me about the tragic accident. My heart goes out to the two paramedics and their families. Keep up the excellent work in the field and be safe out there.

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  • Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose. -Tom Krause
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