There have been many times in my career that I have been told of a colleague's death. All of them moved me to some kind of emotion. Today I have been moved to tears, sobbing into my pillow, my heart in my throat and my stomach feeling like its being squeezed by an icy cold hand. I know that this isnt what he would want. He would want us all to keep fighting the good fight. To continue educating ourselves...being better than we dreamed we could be....to take the torch and light the way for others, to pass on what we know and continue to better the EMS field.
While we are feeling the pain and sorrow of Rob's passing, it is hard to remember that he suffered horribly. He didnt want us to know, whether it be pride or wanting to spare us and himself from pity and being treated differently, only he knows. I knew he was sick but I didnt truly know how sick. None of us did really.
I am dedicating these poems to Rob...our Dustdevil. We will miss you deeply. Shine your light Rob, guide us to where we need to go.
The medic stood and faced God.
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his uniform was clean,
He'd gotten dressed kinda fast.
"Step forward now, paramedic.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my church have you been true?"
The medic squared his shoulders and said,
"No Lord I guess I ain't,
cause those of us who wade in blood,
can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was tough.
And at times I've been violent,
cause the streets are awful rough.
But I never took a penny
that wasn't mine to keep...
although I worked alot of overtime,
when the bills got far too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
except to calm their fears.
If you have a place for me, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't I undestand."
There was silence all around the throne,
where saints had often trod.
As there medic waited quietly
for the judgement of his God.
"Step forward now, paramedic.
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on heavens streets.
You've done your time in hell."
When God Made Paramedics
When God made paramedics, He was into His sixth day of overtime.
An angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."
God said, "Have you read the specs on this order?
A Paramedic has to be able to carry an injured person up a wet, grassy hill in the dark,
dodge stray bullets to reach a dying child unarmed,
enter homes the health inspector wouldn't touch,
and not wrinkle his uniform."
"He has to be able to lift three times his own weight.
Crawl into wrecked cars with barely enough room to move,
and console a grieving mother as
he is doing CPR on a baby he knows will never breathe again."
"He has to be in top mental condition at all times,
running on no sleep, black coffee and half-eaten meals,
and he has to have six pairs of hands."
The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands...no way."
"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," God replied.
"It's the three pairs of eyes a medic has to have."
"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.
God nodded. "One pair that sees open sores as he's drawing blood,
always wondering if the patient is HIV positive."
(When he already knows and wishes he'd taken that accounting job)
"Another pair here in the side of his head for his partner's safety.
And another pair of eyes here in front
that can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say,
"You'll be alright ma'am when he knows it isn't so."
"Lord," said the angel, touching His sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow."
"I can't," God replied.
"I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound
drunk out from behind a steering wheel
without incident and feed a family of five on a private service paycheck."
The angel circled the model of the Paramedic very slowly.
"Can it think?" she asked.
"You bet", God said.
"It can tell you the symptoms of 100 illnesses;
recite drug calculations in it's sleep;
intubate, defibrillate, medicate, and continue CPR
nonstop over terrain that any doctor would fear...
and it still keeps it's sense of humor."
"This medic also has phenomenal personal control.
He can deal with a multi-victim trauma,
coax a frightened elderly person to unlock their door,
comfort a murder victim's family,
and then read in the daily paper how Paramedics were
unable to locate a house quickly enough,
allowing the person to die.
A house that had no street sign, no house numbers, no phone to call back."
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Paramedic.
"There's a leak," she pronounced.
"I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model."
"That's not a leak," God replied, "It's a tear."
"What's the tear for?" asked the angel.
"It's for bottled up emotions,
for patients they've tried in vain to save,
for commitment to that hope
that they will make a difference in a person's chance to survive, for life."
"You're a genius!" said the angel.
God looked somber.
"I DIDN'T PUT IT THERE" He said.