Sunday, April 25, 2010

What makes me tick...

When people who don't know me ask me what I do for a living and I tell them that I am a paramedic, usually one of two responses are headed my way, and I'm sure you are familiar with this.
#1 "Whoa, that's soo cool! What's the worst thing you have ever seen?"

Yes it is... at times. And then there are times when I curse myself for picking up the profession. But what really bugs me is that they actually expect me to answer their question. Of course I see bad stuff happen, of course there are times when we literally wade in blood, but why the fuck would I want to share those kind of stories with a complete stranger? You wanna see blood and guts? Watch a Tarantino DVD and be done with it. If you are really interested in what I do, then for god's sake ask intelligent questions, I'd be more then willing to fill you in and give you a better picture into a unique and challenging profession. But at that point they will usually have lost all interest and walked on.

#2 "Whoa Dude, I could never do that! With all the blood and all..."

Probably. That's why I do it. On the other hand I don't see that much blood during a regular shift. On average the highlight of my daily trauma care is an old lady with a slip and fall and a headlaceration.
It's not the blood that messes me up. It's the long hours, the ungodly shifts and the strain it put's to your social contacts. People who do not work in the field usually have no understanding of this simple concept. Yes we work weekends, or holidays or on the day of your birthday party. That's just how emergency services work.

So why do you do it then?

Because I can.
Because I am good at what I do.
Because what I do actually makes a difference.
Because I fucking save lives for living, how cool is that?

And why do you blog ( english)?

Good question. To be honest, I'm not sure.
I've been a member of the fabulous Ghettomedic Forum for quite some time and as the only German there made a lot of friends from the EMS/Fire community in the US. I think it's always important to broaden your horizon and take a look at how it's done elsewhere in the world. And we even wrote a book about it. Please check the link to the left and buy it. All the proceeds go to charities, we don't keep a penny.

Then one day I found out about Chronicles of EMS. A great project that follows that exact idea and even takes it a step further. By looking at their project I stumbled upon a metric crapton of interesting EMS blogs and started reading into them.

So I thought I would give you, the native-english speaking reader, an insight into my work, my day, and my system here in Germany... topped of with some random non-sense and we have ourselves a blog. Feel free to comment, ask, pick my brain and discuss.


  1. Well I, for one thank you for blogging in English.. I have a Basic EMT friend who is interested in visiting Germany and I referred him to your blog.. and i'll admit to being curious as well. Im not sure I could work with a doctor along with me on calls.. maybe doctors are different in your area, but most of the time they are just plain assholes who are full of themselves... but I suppose its different because you guys are used to having a true working relationship with physicians.

  2. Hi,
    and thank you for dropping by!
    Well, in every group of people there is bound to be someone who is arrogant or full of himself/herself. But in EMS we act and work as a team. Trust is a vital point in pre-hospital patient care and in general it all runs smooth. Of course every once in a while some fresh out of med school rookie turn up and thinks he is the best thing since bread came sliced. But we usually manage to bring him back down to earth and make him understand his role in our system.

    As I said trust is vital. And a seasoned paramedic they don't question my judgement.

    Your buddy is more then welcome to pick my brain. Any questions? Just shoot.

    Be safe,