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Friday, May 24, 2013

The Fraternity of Us

by Amy Eisenhauer, EMT
May 20, 2013

I am blessed to have such amazing friends.  One or two of them I have known most of my life and we have grown and experienced things together as brothers and sisters would.  But most of my friendships have been forged in the bonds of fraternity.  I suspect you are thinking, “Fraternity? You are a female, what would you know about brotherhood?”  
Delta Tau Chi- "Animal House" 1978
Typically the word fraternity brings to mind college parties and secret rites or heroic soldiers returning from battle.  Both of those images are accurate when speaking of the Fraternity of EMS.  We can be silly and rambunctious when at rest, but when called to action we are professionals ready to mitigate your worst day. All my close friendships have been kindled via the field of EMS.  There is something about spending 12 hours in a truck with someone that forges a bond.  You learn how they take their coffee, what kind of music they like, their facial tics, how to operate together without speaking.  You know that when you step into the street, even if you are having an argument or don’t particularly like that person, they are your lifeline and you are theirs.  That is sobering.  We are our brother’s keeper.  We are -- brothers.

I vacation with these people. I break bread with these people. We encourage and mentor each other pushing one another to the next level.  We laugh together at corny jokes or at pranks we pulled. 
EMS Honor Guards from FDNY and Boston EMS pay a final
farewell to Paramedic David Restuccio - Sept. 2012
We celebrate our achievements together: awards, children, new homes and holidays.  We mourn our losses together.  We help each other, no matter the circumstance, no matter the time.  It is difficult to describe how I feel about them. Family and love are terms that come to mind, but those words don’t depict the ache in my heart when they are disappointed or hurt, the exuberance I feel when they succeed or the rush that comes when someone tries to bring them harm.  I realize that this is not an experience most have the opportunity to have; a massive family, a brotherhood, stand with you through your life and I am humbled by it.

I would like to thank all those who in the spirit of fraternity have taught, encouraged and mentored me, helping me to continually grow and reach higher; especially when I did not want to, and was particularly whiney.  You are the family I choose.  I am not sure why I deserve to have people like you in my life, but I am so happy you are here.

Guest writer Amy Eisenhauer, EMT
Amy has been an Emergency Medical Technician in New Jersey for many years.  She is also an instructor for several courses related to Emergency Medical Services and an advocate for the profession.  She is currently in pursuit of her Bachelors degree focusing on Political Science.  Amy is the 2013 Recipient of The Captain Jonathan Young Memorial Scholarship given by the New Jersey Emergency Preparedness Association.  She lives in New Jersey with her cats, Coco Chanel and 13.


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