Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. This is the first Thursday since I have been in EMS that I have not had a regular shift scheduled on this day.

When I started in 1989 at a small ambulance company, I worked every Thursday. When I went to work for the state, I rode with a volunteer ambulance every Thursday night. When I became a full-time paramedic in 1995, I worked Tuesdays through Thursdays. When I went to nights, I worked Thursday nights. When my shift changed to being the contract medic in the suburban town, I worked Thursdays through Saturdays. This past year I switched to Sundays through Tuesdays as my regular shift.

So what did I do for my first free Thanksgiving?

I signed up to work 18 hours in the city. 18 hours at double time and a half, and because it is an overtime shift, it really works out to be triple time. For that kind of money, I can roast my turkey on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, one of the ambulance volunteers stopped by and said the Food Share turkey drive was 3,000 turkeys short. He left us $20 to go buy some turkeys, so my partner and I went down to the supermarket and pitched in some money of our own and bought 8 turkeys, which we brought up to the Food Share lot. They were so happy to see us their manager took our picture. Nothing beats giving for putting you in a good spirit.

What am I thankful for on this holiday?

That everyone I have known who has gone to Iraq has come back alive.

That I still have my health and am still working as a paramedic — that I have a job where I can help people — help which for the most part, they appreciate. And while it is not everyday I medically save anyone’s life, simply by being nice to them, talking to them, making sure they are comfortable, I can make a difference in their day when they are in need of a little compassion.

And I’m thankful for my friends and family, who I should spend more time with than I do, particuarly around Holidays.

Life never takes you where you thought it might, but I still appreciate the chance to walk through the leaves on November days.

***

“walking through the leaves, falling from the trees…”-Bob Dylan
“Mississippi”

1 Comment

  • Anonymous says:

    I work this Thanksgiving. I really don’t mind it. I’ve never been much of a family man. I like small, intimate, Thanksgivings, and this year it’s a lot of production. I’ll end up working Christmas, New Years, and over my birthday. But people still need ambulances on those days too, and everyone is usually quite nice on the holidays.Is that a Road Rescue ambulance in the background of that picture? I love that brand. Everything is so nice in them. Very rugged.

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