I moved to Baldwin as a very young girl and grew up in the Baldwin Fire Department family. I decided to join First Aid at the young age of 48 in order to give back to our community. I became a certified EMT during the pandemic, and as challenging as it is going back to school at an older age, the challenge of dealing with Covid-19 was quite the wake-up call. We are trained for all sorts of emergency situations, like car accidents, strokes and even overdoses. You’re advised how to deal with scared and irate family members. What you’re not taught in school is compassion.
I have learned how important compassion is over patient care at times. We aren’t transporting patients unless we absolutely must and, unfortunately, during the pandemic, family members are unable to accompany the patient. It is a terrifying feeling, not only for the patient, but for the families as well. Fear of the unknown, fear that this is possibly the last time they will see their loved one or hold their hand. As healthcare professionals, we are innately a compassionate group.
Taking care of a patient and assuring a family member that we will care for their loved ones just like they are our own is just part of the job. I take a few minutes to explain what happens when we get to the hospital, explain the ever-changing rules of family visitation, and make sure we get all contact information so that the hospital has the correct information.
I have had the pleasure of running into people that I have met on a call and have been told, “Thank you for your help, mom is doing much better,” and “Thank you for coming into our home, and taking care of my mom when she was so sick.” A smile can’t be seen under a mask, N-95, goggles and gowns, but just holding their hand, rubbing their arm and looking them in the eye is all it takes. That’s what most remember. That’s compassion. It’s a very scary time for all of us and hopefully we are headed in the right direction. In the meantime, we say in the fire house, remain positive, but stay negative.