A long time ago, I became an EMT. I also worked as a firefighter. Like many people in this career we call EMS, over the years I have worked at several different places. I have got to do some pretty cool stuff and I have met some really good people. I have also gotten to do some pretty crappy stuff and met some really crappy people, too. Along the way there have been ups and downs. Some pretty good ups, and some pretty shitty downs.
Like a lot of people in this field, I also went and got all of those 'instructor' cards- ACLS, BCLS, PALS, PHTLS, Level II Fire Instructor, EMT-Paramedic Instructor... I really enjoyed the teaching gigs, partly becasue I enjoyed sharing knowledge with others, but also because in the process of preparing for classes, I learned more about what I was doing.
Then, a job came open that seemed to be all that I was looking for. Years ago I had a job that I truly loved, working as an instructor and department head for a community college EMS program. It was my job-from-heaven, but, as it happens sometimes, things did not work out. I had big plans and even bigger dreams. But there was a lot of stuff going on, and in the grand scheme of things, it was better to leave. Leaving that job was one of the hardest career decisions I ever made.
So things changed. I worked at a couple of other places and sometimes things went good, but when they went south, they did not fool around. As far as my career has been, 2011 and the first part of 2012, well, sucked. Big time. There were let downs of a proportion that I had honestly never experienced before and would not wish on anyone.
And just when I did not think it could get any worse, well, it did.
But anyway, towards the end of the spring semester of 2012, I was taking an American History class, and I came across a quote from an author of a book we were reading for the class. I have included that quote at the top of my blog, but I will put it here, too-
“If, in moving through your life, you find yourself lost...go back to the last place where you knew who you were, and what you were doing, and start from there”. Bernice Johnson Reagon.
That quote resonated within me from the moment I read it. So, in the latter part of the spring of 2012, I decided it was it was time to make a change. I had a chance to take a part time job with a neighboring agency, and it was my intention to try it out. I had thought about it several times over the past three or four years, but for whatever reason I did not 'take the plunge'. You see, I use to work there, years ago, and things had changed- for the better it appeared, but I had to see it for myself.
So, I made that plunge. I started out as a part time paramedic but realized very soon that I was 'back in my element', so to speak. And things started looking up. Sure, there were differences from where I had been working, but I found myself experiencing something I had not felt in a long time- I was actually looking forward to going to work (and that is a plus when you have to get up at 04:45 to go to work!). I felt good about what I was doing and better yet, where I was doing it.
And deep down, I had not experienced that sort of feeling about a job in many years.
So, in the fall of 2012, I returned to the place where, in my career as a paramedic “I last knew who I was and what I was doing”. That summer I had been made aware that there were full time openings. A few weeks later I was offered a full-time job as a paramedic with an "up and coming" EMS agency in an "up and coming" EMS system.
Things have changed, alot, and they have changed for the better around these parts. People who are contacts on Facebook no doubt have read my musings from stations such as Overshot and Micro, of running calls in places like Bentonville, Meadow, and Shoeheel.. It has been truly great to have been back.
And then, a few weeks ago, I was told of a new opportunity. The agency was creating a new position of training officer. I thought about that long and hard before throwing my hat into the ring. Actually, it took me about 0.05 nanoseconds to decide to apply.
“…go back to the last place where you knew who you were, and what you were doing, and start from there.”
My chief called me a couple of days ago and offered me the job and I accepted. Of course, I had to get Mrs. 9-ECHO-1's approval, but the hug I got when I told her (we were eating lunch together when the chief called) said enough.
So, it is time to make that change, to go back to the last place where I knew who I was and what I was doing. And what I wanted to do with my career.
And it all starts March 1, 2013.