People who know me know what I do for a living. If you happen to not know me, I work in Alameda County as a paramedic. Whenever I meet someone and they ask what I do, 99% of the time their first question is "What is worst thing you have seen?" I've been doing this for almost 5 years, with the last 1 1/2 years on the 911 side. In that time, I have been exposed to some funny stuff, ridiculously stupid stuff, and some death as well. And when you do this for a living, you learn to laugh it off, deal with it and for the most part cope with it through dark humor. And to be honest, death does not bother me. After 5 years of this, you see enough dead bodies to just get used to it. My dad asked me a while back "How do you deal with the stuff you have to see at work" and my response at the time was that you just deal with it. However, on Tuesday June 4th, my partner and I responded to a Delta level traffic accident with possible ejections and entrapment. Below is the news page to this story.
We arrived on scene to find pieces of car everywhere with a guy laying in the street, alive and appearing okay, all things considered. His son was ejected from the car, and his wife was still stuck in the car unconscious and in bad shape overall. The baby's forehead was split open down the middle, down the bone, and had obviously died from his injuries. We ended up transporting his mother down to Regional Medical Center in San Jose. Soon after we arrived, she went into surgery. As we were heading back, it started to hit me what had happened. A 3 year old boy had died from his father's stupidity. The next day, the boy's mother died from her injuries. I remember waking up that morning in tears as the whole thing replayed in my head. This was before seeing that his mom had died. After learning this, I just couldn't stop crying. Thursday came, and just more of the same. After going back to work the next day, I thought I was gonna be okay. But as soon as someone asked about it, the same emotions started to come back up. I am so thankful for the input and compassion from my coworkers as I deal with this. One of my supervisors told me whatever I am feeling is normal. To be honest, I did not know what to feel. Part of me was saddened by this death, part of me was so fucking angry. I was telling a friend that part of me wanted to just kick the dad's fucking teeth down his throat for his carelessness. Another part of me has been trying to pray for him though, with the thought being that this guy is gonna have to live with this hanging over his head for the rest of his life. And talking about it brings those painful emotions right back up and brings me back to tears. My friend and former partner John texted me the day after it happened, and I asked him if he ever cried after a call and he said yea. This was the first time I have ever cried over what happened on a call. Just writing this out is hard, but everyone I have talked to has said that it is healthy to just get it off your chest and talk about it. I spoke tonight with a few coworkers, one of who told me of some horrible calls she has been on, and how it sticks with you for a while, and it takes time to get over it. I am so thankful for those who have been there to help, and listen and care. On the way home tonight, I went back to the sight of where it happened and some people have put up a memorial, with pictures, and flowers and signs on the tree where the car hit and lost control. Part of this was maybe to get some closure on it. I dont really know. But going back there was so hard. This is by far the worst and most tragic call I have gone on in the 5 years of working this job. I have seen enough suicides, which are sad, but that person made that decision on their own. But when someone else is injured or killed, especially a child, because someone else is too damn stupid and careless, pisses me off like nothing else.