It was the EMT-Basic class that made me change my major. Even before my first ridealong with EMS. I felt this overwhelming jealousy just hearing the tales of my instructor. Who wants to sit in a hospital charting for most of the night? "Not I," said the future Paramedic.

As I started to get closer to my clinicals, I found myself increasingly euphoric just thinking about this career change. What I found would change my life.

For some, the draw to the job is the adrenaline rush. In 4 rides, I only experienced that feeling once. It was my first big call and a 64 year old man had fallen four bleachers at a football game. I simply needed to find the will to make my legs cooperate with the swaying of the rig.

Here is what the general public doesn't know.

These people are not taxi drivers. Paramedics are soldiers when there is no war, a comforting parent to a frightened child, a doctor who must improvise because of a lack of access to certain technology, someone who must think and react at the same exact moment.

No matter how small the ailment, a paramedic puts his/her all into making that 10 minute ride comfortable. We got a call for a sinus infection, and upon arrival at the scene, we found an inconsolable woman who was suicidal. I connected with her by asking her about her tattoo and showing her mine. It wasn't a conscious thought. It was instinct.

Next semester I will start my clincals. It's a pay cut from nursing, but I can't see spending the rest of my life knowing I passed up the opportunity to gain something from the experience of being a Paramedic.

The next time you are out in a storm, remember that they are out matter the conditions. When you see them coming up behind you in traffic with lights and sirens going, move to the right and send a prayer for their safety. If you ever have to call them, be assured you are in capable hands.

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