Wednesday, May 22, 2019

History Lessons: The Angels of Lights and Sirens

As many know by now, I work for American Medical Response (AMR), Fremont County. When I signed on in December of 2017, it was with Guardian Flight/EMS (Ground). It was a confusing time, to be ushered in and learn the history of emergency medical services in rural Fremont County, Wyoming and the Wind River Reservation. But it was also a wonderful time of learning.

My background in Health and Medicine was actually founded at Sutter Amador Hospital in Amador County, California. I worked three jobs there...hired on initially as the Office Assistant to the Director of Facilities (Engineering and Environmental Services)...then a short stint as a Financial Clerk...and was then asked to be the Interim Medical Staff Coordinator for a time. Working in a hospital is, well...pretty much chaos on all departmental levels. However, each person I came in contact with, I got to know, and know as well as I could. I have to say, scheduling was pretty much the worst part of the job. But...I'm the creator of systems that serve me and the purpose, and once implemented, everything [pretty much] runs like clockwork.

That's how I roll.

Many years later, I worked for Interim Hospice of Sacramento. I was actually prepped into the job by a temp agency, doing a massive data transfer from one program platform to another. By the time I was done, I pretty much knew the new program like the back of my hand, so the position was kind of a shoe-in for me. Again, I set up a system of operations that would serve the needs of organization and management, with my motto being: Keep it simple and excellent. The more complicated you make it, the more you have to manage.

Scroll forward to today.

Working for a ground ambulance matter the company branding (as I've well learned), well. very different. Bottom line: it's absolute chaos. All the time. I was working for both Guardian Flight and Ground EMS, and everything I knew about health and medicine was out the door and different than I ever knew a hospital or hospice care. The environment, the reminded me of the time when my kids got back from combat training in the Marines, and they were sitting in the back seat of the car, speaking in military acronyms. I was like: "Um, hello? Civilian, right here. I can't understand a single word any of you are saying...!"

It's taken me over a year and a half to understand "normal" life in an ambulance station, and I very well know that I'm still not up to par. My own par. Because what our EMS Providers see and do is beyond comprehension. They give so much, they see so much, know so much. At any moment's notice, they're off. The stations may be buzzing with activity...or crickets the next. I've had to learn (sometimes the hard way) to tip-toe to my office in the morning, because you know what? The crews are sleeping. They had a rough night. And there might not be enough coffee in the world for them when they wake. Or sometimes it's light, and we're laughing, joking, talking...and then their pagers go off...when they're listening to the dispatch radio...when they're ready, 24-7, 365...

Fremont County, Wyoming...the State of WY...the United States of America...needs to be grateful for their EMS services. Their job is to save your life. Their job is to apply the bandages to your wounds. Their job is to muddle through the mud, the dirt, the snow, the heat, the wreckage, the fire, the serve, well...


This EMS, every week, every day...see the Lights. Hear the Sirens. Know that those who are in that mobile box called an ambulance are coming and going with earnest for the communities that you live in. That your families and friends live in. That your children and elders live in. That your leaders, politicians and business owners live in. Life and death situations know no bounds...and they know it. Believe me...

Because when it comes down to the are and will always be the priority.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone at American Medical Response of Fremont County...for your service, your dedication, your hearts, minds and souls. It can often be a thankless job...and you might think it such, I know...but for those who really know:

You are the Angels of Lights and Sirens.

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