A Health Careers Scholarship Recipient’s Message
“Boop boop boop.” As a probationary volunteer member at the fire department, the dispatch tones still caused my heart to skip a beat followed by rapid acceleration as I listened for more information. “Specialty Unit requested.” With adrenaline rising knowing we had a hike ahead of us, I jumped into the back of the ambulance having a vague idea that a patient had fallen somewhere in the adjacent State Park and someone would meet us to guide us back to the patient.
As the medic driver raced down the narrow two lane highway, I bowed my head praying for safety and wisdom for the crew and protection for the patient as I always did when we dropped a call. The gates opened as we arrived at the property allowing our team to bump along the pitted pastures before reaching the river where a deputy in a gator waited to take the paramedic to the patient. Grabbing additional supplies and oxygen from the back, the ambulance driver and I began making our way to the patient wading through the river, avoiding letting cattle escape from behind the fence, and finally scrambling down the cliffside to the patient.
Quickly assessing the situation, I saw the patient shivering uncontrollably in the otherwise pleasant winter’s dusk, blood soaking the jacket behind his head. Looking up at his family and friends, anxious to recount what had happened as they gathered around me, I learned he had fallen about 40 feet in a climbing accident before landing head first on the unforgiving rocks below.