notokinthehead











{March 25, 2014}   Stalked

As a Firefighter/EMT, when we have bad days they very quickly turn into bad weeks. A bad day for us all too often means that we lost a patient or lost one of our own. This week I worked a scene of a young woman who completed suicide. There was nothing we could do for her, she was gone long before anyone called 911. Even though there was so very obviously nothing anyone could do to save this young woman’s life it tends to follow you, stalk you. Some things that you encounter in this profession never leave you.

For the last three days I’ve been haunted by the completed suicides that I’ve worked in my two short years as a firefighter/EMT. None of which were viable. The elderly male who put a gun in his mouth and sprayed his entire bathroom with blood and brain matter. The 19 year old girl who hung herself with the cord of a curling iron from an eye-hook in a bathroom ceiling. The 32 year old mother who we found face down in her own vomit, she overdosed on Oxycodone with her teenage children in the house. And then Saturday, the young woman who sat in her car garage with her car running.

The things I’ve seen make it hard to sleep at night. Natural death is hard to deal with, but when someone actively takes their own life it’s devastating for all involved. It kind of makes you angry, you studied your ass off to learn how to save people when they’re circling the drain, you’ve held the hand of the dying and tried to do your best to comfort them when all they want is more time on this Earth. Then you go and cut down the body of someone who decided that their life isn’t worth living. It definitely makes you question your faith in God, or whatever higher power that you believe in, that they allow the people who want to live, to die, while the ones who have no desire to live anymore can choose to take their own lives.

I’m not putting down people who are depressed, suicidal or mentally ill. I understand some of the emotional distress and chemical imbalances that play a role in depression. I’m just simply asking why things play out the way they do. I understand that I’ll never have an answer to that question.

Conclusion: death is difficult. My job has me knee deep in corpses, when I’d much rather do lift assists all day every day. You can comfort the families who’ve lost a loved one all day, but you can never breathe life back into a person when their time has come.

EMS: the profession of being stalked by death.



et cetera