By Steven P. Velasquez
September 6, 2010
September 6, 2010
This past weekend, as you were doing your daddy-funded, weekend bar crawl, you had occasion to actually look at me and acknowledge my existence (a rarity). You see, more than likely, you do not who I am, what I do or how my existence is actually of benefit to you, while the inverse is untrue. I am a Paramedic. The truck you see me in is a Mobile Intensive Care Unit; some say “a hospital on wheels.” That may be a little extreme and I won’t debate semantics but I’ll say I bring a very specialized part of the healthcare system to your doorstep, your college dorm or whatever bar you finally pass out in during your parentally unsupervised stay in my town.
My partner and I were parked in an empty lot when two of your fellow school mates lacked the intelligence to resolve their differences verbally. As they removed their shirts and assumed a combat stance, you looked to us in despair wondering if we were going to spring into action and save the day. Angrily you slurred “aren’t you going to do anything?” Sarcastically we replied; “We’re not cops. We don’t have guns.” Disinterested in their fighting or your frustration, we turned our attention back to my partner’s dinner and my paperwork. Again you opened your pretty, misinformed mouth and angrily shouted at us; “You’re just going to sit there while they kill each other, then take them to the hospital when it’s over?” (Truth be told, my partner did radio in the location and what was going on.)
Like any true NJ degenerate I did suddenly realize my lack of decorum and (to my partner) placed ten bucks on the taller of the two.
As the sound of slapping skin commenced, I began to really get annoyed at the commentary of the scantily clad, young chipie. “How dare you look down your nose at me?” I thought. Your parents send you from Ocean, Morris, Warren or Bergen Counties with a brand new car, a bottomless bank account, a six inch set of stiletto heels and you think you can sit here in judgment of me? You scoff at the fact that my partner and my personal safety supersedes that of these idiots?
Little girl, let me explain some of the facts of life to you. I don’t know where you come from or what you life has exposed you to. My life has exposed me to the harsh reality of what it is to be attacked, be injured, be overpowered and not have any backup coming. This issue was for the boys in blue (the police), trained in combat and the use of force. I’m trained in healing and the use of medicine. Your expectation, probably fed by some foolish TV show of Paramedics jumping into the fray and being decorated for “going above and beyond the call of duty,” is about somewhere else -- in some author’s imagination. We don’t get medals, recognition or even a simple accurate article in the newspaper. We get injured, maimed, shot (only a week ago for trying to help a motorist) and sometimes killed. We lose our ability to support our families. Our management turns their backs on us. Our hospitals discipline, fire or worse yet, write another inane policy like “there will be no parking anywhere near people under the influence of alcohol.” (That would basically put me in another town.) There is NO ONE to help me or my family when something happens to me. So who are you, my liquor-filled visitor in search of higher education, to expect me to put myself in harm’s way?
Only a few blocks away from where you saw me and only a few hours later, some young, muscular gladiator of your age who is a trained MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter got his head split open when it met the working end of a tire iron. So forgive me if it upset you that my partner and I didn’t tuck and roll like teenage mutant ninja medics and save these two clowns from themselves. Perhaps instead of pursuing another useless degree in sociology or linguistics, you can come do what we do. Unlike so many of your classmates, you’ll at least be employed and have a realistic view of the world around you.
Have fun. Be safe. And if you aren't, my partner and I (who are still intact – and employed - for not engaging these mutts) will be there to assist you.