I am not a hero

In my “real” job, I’m sure as heck not a hero.  Reviewing contracts just doesn’t save a lot of lives.

When I’m at my “fun” job on the ambulance, it’s not heroism either.  It’s doing something I’m passionate about.  It’s the pride, honor, integrity, and dare I say, the compassion of providing medical care to people in the worst moments.  (Let’s face it, even if we consider it “BS,” it’s still the worst thing in our patient’s day.)  I walk into houses, businesses, and the street and see humanity at its worst.

I’m hanging out at the Texas EMS Conference this week, learning new things, renewing friendships, and making new friends.  Watching a British paramedic experiencing Texas for the first time is rather funny at times.  Driving through the Fort Worth Stockyards listening to George Strait while you explain the history of our country, our state, and the “Old West” is a perfect way to remind yourself of how special these moments are.  EMS, fire, law enforcement, and emergency medicine creates a special bond and kinship between all of us.

But allow me to digress here into the really serious current events of the day.  Ferguson, Missouri.  I’ve had a few friends who aren’t in public safety or medicine post some pretty snarky comments on Facebook about the grand jury decision, Officer Darren Wilson, and/or law enforcement in general. I won’t hector or lecture you.  All I ask is that you try to be as compassionate to your public servants as you are to the thug culture, the “oppressed” who aren’t really oppressed, the criminal underclass, and the looters.  Take it from someone who sees more than Instagram shots of the Mike Browns and Leslie Cochrans of the world — crime, homelessness, and the drug culture aren’t hip, cool, or funny.  They’re a one-way ticket to self-destruction.

You have a right to those opinions.  The “uncool” people that you mock protect your rights to be hip, liberal, and oh so cool. Me?  I have the right to unfriend you.

Thanks for listening.  I’ll try to be funnier in the next blog.


  1. Mike Smertka says:

    I think some ride along time would considerably alter the perception of many of the comments.

  2. Couldn’t agree more. The things occurring last night and today are awful and inexcusable. For those who feel he was guilty, how are they any worse than they assume he is? I personally stand behind Officer Wilson. The thugs destroyed livelihoods. They took everything from small business owners. They shot guns out of car windows with no regards to who those bullets hit. I’m apalled and embarrassed to call them Americans. They are no better than the terrorists who attacked America on Sept. 11th.

  3. 2 year LEO here, 35 years ago. The public gives us props every single day, from nods to offers of coffee to pay with benefits (small though they sometimes seem) to standing O’s at holidays. And they give us shit too, sometimes more deserved than others, though many of my former colleagues seemed to feel that they were never wrong.

    When cops have been systematically oppressed (systematically, folks, not by you personally), then we can talk about evening up. Does that make rioting right. Hell, no. But it makes it understandable. When you have tried everything else, what will you do?