What a thrilling and crazy first step in becoming an emergency medical technician! That's a hell of a "first day at school" photo, right?
First off let me start by thanking everyone who supported me here on Steem blockchain because without you I wouldn't be taking this life-altering steps right now.
I was going to write an in-depth piece on what everything looks like from a victim's perspective at an active school shooting, but after my initial briefing, I thought it would be better to avoid that. I don't want to give any tactical information out that may help a shooter in this situation.
I'll give you a few highlights and things I found interesting from the experience:
- After being briefed, I selected a card that described the medical status of the victim that I was going to be playing. I was a middle-aged male with a facial injury that was conscious but in bad shape. This was pretty awesome because I was able to ask a lot of questions on the way to the hospital.
- There was more than one shooter. The one that got me was a girl. Like most girls I experienced in high school, she cut me down in front of everyone in the cafeteria. Similarly, I survived after laying on the floor for an hour or so.
- If you are ever in a situation where there is an active shooter, run for a door. I was one of the victims furthest away from the door, and the process of retrieval and expediting victims is systematic. This process left me lying on a cold cafeteria floor for quite some time. I joked with a Homeland Security observer that I think I died of hypothermia while waiting to be removed from the scene. There were no laughs. They do this because of Dave Sanders. He was a teacher at Columbine that bled out after waiting four hours to be treated. There was a break down of communication and now to avoid another situation like Mr. Sanders was in, first responders use this system, which is the most efficient at saving lives.
- When the cavalry finally arrived, a man smaller than me pulled me on this neat sled thing. He did this after asking if I was sure that I couldn't walk, probably praying that I could. "Nope, don't think I'm allowed, man." It was pretty cool to witness first hand. I apologized to the dude for having not been on a diet. After pulling me upstairs and gasping, he said, "It's fine."
- I arrived at the emergency room which was bursting from the seams from a code yellow. I was pushed through the hallways with speed. About halfway through they stopped and said, "OK, you can get up you're dead." The nurse said sarcastically, "I am sooo sorry we killed you." I asked, "what's the co-pay for dying?" They laughed and replied, "don't worry we'll send you the bill." Proof again that there is truth in all comedy.
- At the debriefing, I noticed that all of the other EMT/Paramedic students were a lot younger than me. Great, I'm the old guy. I also saw that a majority of the EMT/Firefighter guys looked like they were regular participants in the world's strongest man competition. Even better, I'm the over-weight sloppy looking, old guy.
- There were tons of questions to be asked by everyone at the debriefing. This included moments of voicing concern over mistakes that were made. They let everyone know that it was not a perfect execution of the drill. In our lack of perfection, this confirmed an excellent exercise. If you plan everything correctly, there will always be mistakes. Mistakes are an opportunity for learning, and in this case, knowledge means saving lives. This drill was well-planned for an entire year.
- On the ride home my mind was in a flurry of excitement. I was replaying the night, and thinking about the future. Somewhere in all of this, I forgot to take off my makeup from the drill. An old man holding a bouquet of flowers saw me driving by and dropped his jaw in fear. I wonder what he thought I had been doing all night?
Special shout out to everyone in the Danger_Zone, my homies in Price, and to anyone who made one of the flattering small donations that gave me the little push I needed.
Make sure to drop any questions in the comments below!
Do you think I should keep writing about my journey to becoming an EMT?