I was an EMT-B for maybe over 5 years working for 2 private ambulance companies. The first company I worked for primarily handled transfers and occasional emergencies out of nursing homes that we serviced. The second company services quite a few 911 contracts for towns north of the major city in our state.
I was on a non-committed BLS unit. n the base I was assigned to for my 16-hour shift there was 2 other units stationed there. One was the dedicated ALS unit for the town and 2 non-dedicated BLS units that backed the town up when the town truck was out on calls.
We also did a lot of regular transfer work in the surrounding communities. We also provided coverage for the other communities we serviced in the area. After a few years and a lot of good and bad outcomes to calls, I started drinking off duty to calm down after bad shifts.
I didn’t think much over it until my anxiety started going out of control on my drive into work my mind would race with all the traumatic calls I had worked. At this time I requested time off and services for psychiatric help. Before I could make an appointment I was called back into work due to staff shortages.
I’m told I quit shortly after. I honestly don’t remember. From that point, I went to work for the first company I worked for. I thought being back at a company that had no 911 contracts would be ok. I apparently only lasted a few months. I vaguely remember some of this.
Next thing I know I was waking up every morning in a rehab center unable to walk or remember getting in that shape. I was told I contracted pneumonia from throwing up and inhaling some of it. I’m currently fighting to get my memory back and the ability to walk. I have very little memory of the events leading up to my decline in health.
– Story written by an anonymous 27 year old male EMT-B, 5 years in EMS.