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EMS Letter - WTC

            In the wake of the World Trade Center attacks, police and firefighters were touted as "heroes". No argument there, they helped almost 25,000 people get out of the buildings before they collapsed. But something else happened to, Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics were simply referred to as "Rescue Workers", and all but forgotten in the shuffle. I know of at least 4 EMT's and 4 Paramedics who were killed when the towers came down. Hardly any of them were mentioned and to the fellow ambulance workers, this is a slap in the face. I'm not downplaying the roles of cops or firefighters, but its time us "rescue workers" get their recognition too. Often, people will assume we are only "Ambulance Drivers", and this to make our skin crawl. Whether it is BLS or ALS, EMT's and Medics go through months of training and earn a state certification. We work 8, 10, 12, and sometimes 16 hours days, often with no meal and no break. A lot of us volunteer in our hometowns as well. We are the people who take your blood pressure, stop the bleeding, and apply ice to the sprained ankle. We have seen people at their best and at their absolute worst, and we rarely get a thank you. We've held a dying child in our arms, told a wife of 50 years her husband is dead, seen a teenager die in a drunk driving accident, and seen someone shot in the head. Amputations, car accidents, pedestrians struck we respond to as well. We give oxygen to the 80 year old man who can't breathe, give glucose to the unconscious diabetic, we have done CPR until we thought our arms would fall off, and yet we never receive the recognition we deserve. We've gotten kicked, punched, and bitten by out of control patients. We blast our lights and sirens because you cant seem to realize or care that we are behind you. We watched in horror too as the WTC collapsed and 343 firefighters died. But, we also felt the loss too. Yamel Merino (EMT of the Year), Carlos Lillo, Ricky Quinn, Keith Fairben (He just got his paramedic card just 5 months earlier), Marc Sullins.

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