And It’s Over: EMS Week 2011

Was “Everyday Heroes” a good theme or were we just stroking our egos?

I didn’t necessarily time my return to work with EMS Week, but it was a coincidence. The first day I worked of EMS Week we were dispatched to 13 calls, transported 5 and had 1 refusal, one of those transports was a critical and I ended up using an IO drill. I further continued in the week giving a ton of drugs (including intranasal delivery of Versed for a seizure) and a lot of IV fluids.

All in all, a good week, with much ALS care having been given.

The theme for EMS Week this year being “Everyday Heroes.” There have been many articles out there elaborating on this very idea, I figured it would be a good idea to start with the definition of a hero:

he·ro/ˈhi(ə)rō/Noun
1. A person, typically a man, who is admired for courage or noble qualities.

This appears to be a very objective idea, with the idea of a hero being different to each person, we observe a person’s actions and judge if they are heroic, or acting in the definition of a hero, or not.

Do I regard myself as some sort of hero, do I admire myself for courage or noble qualities?

No. Actually, anyone that knows me well underneath my outwardly confident personality (to the point of arrogance in the eyes of some) I am actually quite a cynic and mostly quite humble.

I think it is a little arrogant to consider ourselves heroes, considering the objective nature of the ideal. To say “I’m a hero” or any derivative of the phrase, in my mind, suggests narcissism on the part of the speaker.

I don’t consider myself a hero at all. I may appear to be a hero to many because of my title or station in life, I tend to believe more that I am simply a person with a job. I get paid to do dangerous work, and I respond as a person trained to handle dangerous work. Everything that I confront in my working hours I am conditioned to respond in a certain way according to the circumstances. Examples:

I am dispatched to a report of chest pain. When I arrive, I preform a complete assessment including basic blood chemistry and electrocardiograms, then proceed into set ups for interventions that may or may not be necessary such as IV access or the placement of electrode patches.

My engine company is responding to a house fire. I already have my turnouts on and my air pack strapped on when I arrive. Based on what order we arrive in depends on if I am pulling a hoseline, a set of irons or our rapid intervention pack. I am trained to stay low when I enter an actively burning structure, to apply water in a certain way, to perform a search in a certain pattern, and to perform certain actions as part of the RIT.

So, you could say that I am an ordinary person conditioned to respond to extraordinary circumstances.

None of which show that I am courageous, or that I am noble.

What I am, however, is compassionate.

com·pas·sion·ate/kəmˈpaSHənit/
Adjective: Feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others.

A much better definition.

I guess “Everyday Heroes” is just more catchy than “Compassionate.”

This article was written by rstine

  • I agree RJ, I think they’re trying too hard to make us into something we are on rare occasions, not unlike the ad for a casino is people winning.
    Perhaps a letter writing campaign with suggestions for next year could steer them to including the EMS community in the choice of slogans.

  • I agree RJ, I think they’re trying too hard to make us into something we are on rare occasions, not unlike the ad for a casino is people winning.
    Perhaps a letter writing campaign with suggestions for next year could steer them to including the EMS community in the choice of slogans.

  • Too Old To Work

    Heroes never see themselves that way. It’s a determination made by others who view a person’s actions from the outside. The couple of times I’ve done something others called heroic I was either unaware of the danger or scared but did my job anyway.

  • Too Old To Work

    Heroes never see themselves that way. It’s a determination made by others who view a person’s actions from the outside. The couple of times I’ve done something others called heroic I was either unaware of the danger or scared but did my job anyway.