I’m green. I’ve been an EMT for 2 years. I started first responding when I was 15 with a local rural fire dept. They had this unregulated program for guys under 15, as long as we weren’t in structural fires we could go. So I’ve got 5 years total in first responding, 3 in fire, 2 in EMS.
I work for a ridiculously rural Ambulance District. 2 Ambulances in 832 square miles, total pop is about 6,500 hundred souls. Everyone knows everybody. I don’t live in the county, I live really far away. In the past two weeks, I’ve had two people off themselves, it’s new for me. I’m still new to this, I’m inexperienced but am working with a great medic.
The first guy, he was in his 60’s. Played Santa Claus during Christmas. Navy Vet, heavy drinker, known to have suicidal tendencies. He told everyone he was going to kill himself, no one did anything. He shot himself in the head with rat-shot from a .38. I cannot get the way his face was flattened by the concrete and pooling blood. He was heavy, he had full riggers, he was found after 12 hours of June heat in his garage. His family knew it was going to happen, nobody did shit.
Guy two, a dude about 30. He was “homeless”, stayed with various family and friends. He was a known drug user. I seen this guy walking down the street last week hanging out with friends. Dude looked like a skinny Jesus. He had loved ones, people liked him. He was found by his kid cousin hanging from an extension cord on a fallen tree, his feet were on the ground, he knelt into it.
His T-shirt was quoting Timothy, it was clean, it said: “Fight the Good Fight”. He texted his cousin at midnight saying goodbye. His friends pleaded with him for hours the night he killed himself, they let him go. They didn’t call us, they let him go.
Fuck’n shit man, these guys are haunting me right now. All because nobody told us, we could have prevented this, maybe gotten help for these dudes. But, now I have to remember them, their stiff bodies, swollen faces, flattened faces, bloodied bodies, I have to live with that shit.
– Story written by JB, 21-year-old EMT-B from the Ozark Region. 2 years in EMS.