Paramedics our first defence

Paramedics Our First Defence

I have been wanting to write a piece about our brave Paramedics, those men, women and those of other identities for a long time. However, I have never been able to work out the best way to do that. Today, I am going to try my best to pay tribute to our Paramedics, our first defence. Fitting, considering we are in the throws of the biggest medical emergency of our time.

Having spent fifteen years in the fire service, I have had the honour of working beside this compassion and very highly skilled group of people. Many of them in fact, love helping so much, that they are also members of the fire service community. So, I have nothing but the deepest admiration and respect for them and their commitment to their communities.

Like what you’re reading? Here’s another You, Me and PTSD, Its hard on love

Why then, are those who are literally on the frontlines, those who seem to get the least amount of recognition? I know, I know, that’s not what being an emergency service worker is about. However, it sure as hell isn’t right to take their dedicated service for granted.

They see entirely too much to have them fade into the background without a so much as a thank you, that’s got to have an impact on a person. Instead of showing compassion, many people seem to be disgruntled because they had to make way as these brave souls scream their way to yet another human tragedy. They do so on empty stomachs, full bladders and in some cases, exhaustion.

My friends, the paramedic’s struggles are real.

When we take the time to look at the sacrifices made on our behalf, it’s impossible not to see just how incredibly difficult their job is. Long hours, all types of weather and endless human suffering. To me, they are modern-day warriors; If this were medieval times, they would fight alongside our bravest knights, as they do today; police officers, firefighters, nurses and emergency room doctors. Like knights, they should enjoy equal admiration for the same battle that they are all fighting together.

One of the most vital professions in the world and it’s reduced to “not important enough?”

I know, you must be thinking, what does this have to do with a mental health blog? The answer is lots! As far as I’m concerned, Paramedics are the most underrated warriors of all first responders. Why exactly? I can’t say but what I do feel is that many, like the rest of us in the emergency services suffer from PTSD, we just don’t hear about it. Those first to handle our medical emergency; shouldn’t be the last medical professionals we support when they need it.

On occasion, I have had the opportunity to speak with people in paramedicine. Firstly, I make sure I thank them for their service; secondly, I listen to them. I have heard stories of their colleagues dying by suicide. Many know more than one person who’s efforts to save lives has cost them their own. As if trying to mitigate the tragic moments of others wasn’t enough, they must live with the loss of their friends; the people they work beside every day.

Remember them. they are the ones who show up on our doorsteps,

One Paramedic shared with me that they have lost six of their colleges by suicide. Thinking about how I’d feel if I had a similar experience in the fire service, their story of loss broke my heart. I simply can’t imagine it. Sadly, his years of sacrifice only compounded my sense of sadness when he went on to tell me that he too was also suffering from the mental health workplace injury, PTSD.

Paramedics our first defence

In criss? go to Crisis Services Canada for help.

In stark contrast, I don’t know of a single case of a firefighter dying by suicide; not in my department or any other in the surrounding areas. With that said, I have little doubt that PTSD is lurking in the shadows of every fire hall across the land. For my former fire service family members, please get the help you need. There is hope

My friends, their struggle is real and we must acknowledge that. Paramedics, our first defence. deserve that much and as far as I’m concerned, much more.

“PTSD cannot be beaten when one suffers in silence. I’m sure there is a correlation between mitigating humanity’s chaos and the mythical oath of, “We don’t talk about it”. John Arenburg.

So, as we find ourselves being emersed deeper and deeper into this pandemic, remember them. They are the ones who show up on our doorsteps, the first to administer life-saving medications and the ones who roll the sick through the doors of the ERs. Simply put, when we are sick, these highly-skilled, professionals are there.

I will leave you with this fact. Because some governments don’t value their worth, they are listed as non-essential staff in some places in Canada. Non-essential? Imagine that! More importantly, think about how that must feel to them. One of the most important, most necessary professionals in the entire world and it’s reduced to “not important enough?” Talk about having a horrible boss.

Despite this, we can change that though, we have it within us to take the time to thank them in our darkest hour. Their contribution to the covid-19 battle is and will continue to be immeasurable. So please, take the time to think about their value to our society. Paramedics, our first defence. Moreover, please try and understand the impact that this noblest of professions has on the hearts and mental health of these wonderful people who will work tirelessly to save lives.

I would like to take the time to acknowledge your hard work, your sacrifice and tireless efforts in this most uncertain and tragic time. Moreover, I wish you all good health both to you and your families. I stand with our Paramedics, our first defence

I want you to live: Go to Crisis Services Canada If you need help

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

Contact: The Road To Mental Wellness

My Road To Wellness – Not Alone

There comes a time in everyone’s life when we hit the wall, or as some people call it, hitting rock bottom. Whatever one chooses to call it, its an excruciating period in one’s life where they simply can’t hand the barrage of painful events that life throws their way.

I, like the rest of humanity, have found myself face down in the mud of my own overwhelmed misery. As if the darker points in my life weren’t troubling enough, I have come to see hard times as the ultimate test of true friendship.
In my view, this phenomenon is both a sad and a positive thing. Those who really care for you will squeak out of the woodwork and be there through it all, while others will be but a puff of smoke, running like a cartoon character in the opposite direction. Sometimes we are fooled by the good friends we thought we knew.
There is another wonderfully positive thing that has come out of my most recent personal tragedy. This surprising and unanticipated thing is that of people whom I barely know or don’t know at all, rushing to be my side. It lifts my spirits because I know that the road to mental wellness is not a lonely one.
Most of these compassionate strangers have come from social media platforms. What I find so fascinating about this is that they are people from all over the world, all of which have been or are going through something very similar to myself. What’s most enjoyable about this is that we all lean on one another, its as though we have known each other for years. The best social media platform I have found for this is Twitter. People there are looking for the same as I  am. Maybe you are too. Follow me on Twitter here: ArenburgJohn
When it comes to those “friends” who jump ship, I have stopped worrying about them a long time ago. Admittedly, some of their departures have stung worse than others, but that’s life. On the positive side, it sets good boundaries, so I know exactly where they stand.
So, What makes a good friend? To find out, go here:  The 13 Essential Traits of Good Friends

This blog post is for them, those who are good friends, who’re friendships stay intact regardless of circumstance or duration of your challenge. I wanted to say thank you for staying by my side. Because of you, my road to mental wellness has demonstrated to me over and over again, that it’s not the number of people in your life that matters; it’s the quality of strong bonds that will see you through.

if you are suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!

If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada

Want help fund my book? donate GOFundMe – The Road To Mental Wellness – The book.

Trauma Specialist, Dr. Jeffery Hosick:

You may also enjoy: The Mental Health Work Injury Called PTSD