September 11

September 11, 2011

Itís a beautiful day, just like ten years ago. We just drove through a town center and there was a small gathering by the war memorial. People held up signs ďWe Will Always RememberĒ and applauded as we drove by. Shortly after in the Dunkiní Dougnuts, a woman walked up to me and thanked me for what I do.

I admit to being somewhat uncomfortable for this type of recognition. I didnít walk up the stairs into a burning tower or ram a food cart into a cockpit door to take a down a plane headed for the US Capitol. I donít wear camouflage and body armour, and carry out dangerous midnight raids. Like anyone, I go to work and try to help people. Some days I do it better than others. I try to always be careful. I get paid every week. I go home to my family at night.

Sitting on post, we talked about how crazy life was like in the aftermath 10 years ago. We thought there were thousands of sleeper cells ready to wreak their evil havoc on us. One of my partners was certain the Arab American who ran her corner grocery was a terrorist. She talked about how she always saw him in the back room, talking with his other buddies Ė they had to be plotting. My partner today just told me about a friend of his familyís who was a pilot, and while a regular American, he had a Muslin name. When he announced his name to his passengers the day air flights resumed over the country, half of them stood and walked off the plane.

Not long after September 11, I was on duty, handling a school bus accident when over the radio, I heard a call go out for an explosion at the Civic Center with reports of thick black smoke in the air. On the radio, I heard the first responding unit, put out and promise a quick casualty update. The local TV channels went to live coverage, but it soon turned out the explosion and smoke were from a transformer that blew up. The terrorists hadnít chosen our civic enter as their next target.

Will they attack again? Perhaps today on this 10th Anniversary? Itís hard to believe this beautiful still morning could be transformed into chaos. But someday it likely will happen again.

And weíll find out once more of what we are made.

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Peter Canning

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  • Comments
    medicscribe
    Ativan
    Many of the drugs we carry can kill, but they can also save lives. Ativan is one of them.
    2015-07-07 01:04:06
    medicscribe
    Lights and Sirens
    This is somewhat of a prewar story book. It is the only book I know of that focuses almost entirely on what paramedic school is like, and it quite well written. Your overall comment is interesting. I do find and will be writing about this fairly soon, there is a marked difference between EMS nonfiction…
    2015-07-07 01:02:46
    puck61
    Lights and Sirens
    Not to be disrespectful but is this another war story book? It would be nice to see something more "deep" than a collection of war stories. It seems ems hasn't found a voice in literature beyond glory story lit. Hopefully someone will look beyond the lights and sirens attitude and give us something with intellectual,…
    2015-07-06 21:43:16
    me
    Ativan
    Ativan can kill. It gets into the respiratory center of the brain causing respiratory failure. This is a deadly drug. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2004/dec/05/health.medicineandhealth1
    2015-07-06 00:31:28
    Christy
    Paramedic Students
    Enjoyed reading this. I am an EMT-B who is in Paramedic school and I have been on the receiving end of working with a few medics who seemed to have forgotten that they were just like me once upon a time. And there are medics who I have cherished my time working with as they…
    2015-06-19 23:10:13

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