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Posted: 2/24/2007 5:56:33 PM EST
www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=8&f=8&t=258633&page=6

I was on shaky ground most of the day (inside, nothing shown to the other FFs), and now... it seems to be ok. First time this has happened to me, and I was hoping through your stories, I might be able to put this in perspective.

12 hours later, I can now talk about it without holding back tears. This is the first time I responded on an injured friend.

TRG
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 7:07:56 PM EST
From what you describe "you done good"! Extrication went well it seems and you were there for her as a pillar of strength in her time of need. Hats off to you and your fellow smoke-breathers for doing what it is you do!
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 7:12:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By roboman:
From what you describe "you done good"! Extrication went well it seems and you were there for her as a pillar of strength in her time of need. Hats off to you and your fellow smoke-breathers for doing what it is you do!


I was no pillar. Although she did not see me, I cried when I saw her. That hurt,

TRG
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 7:14:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:

Originally Posted By roboman:
From what you describe "you done good"! Extrication went well it seems and you were there for her as a pillar of strength in her time of need. Hats off to you and your fellow smoke-breathers for doing what it is you do!


I was no pillar. Although she did not see me, I cried when I saw her. That hurt,

TRG


To her (and from her perspective), you were strong. From what you describe you stayed composed and even helped her feel at ease with something as small as finding her pocketbook and securing her possessions.

It's alright (and natural) to be torn up about something like that. It's also fine to cry. What is important is she didn't see you crying, so that from her eyes you were there and strong. That's what I think is most important to a person in a situation like that.
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 10:26:06 PM EST
My parents live in my zone...I have responded to my dad twice, when he was in SVT.

One of our former Deputy Chiefs (long before he became an officer) worked a code on his brother.

Ive actually responded to quite a few people who I know.
Link Posted: 2/24/2007 11:02:49 PM EST
TRG, we are still human, no one will fault you for being upset at seeing a friend like that. My home is in my still district. I have seen friends/neighbors in a way I wasn't happy about. We do the best we can, I have cried after doing CPR on a 3yoa and I didn't know the family at all. Anonimity is our friend, most of the time "better them than us" and " at least it isn't my family" works for us and makes it easier to see the shit that happens out there. There are just some things on the job that suck! What you had to do is one of them. We all know that you did your job to the best of your ability, friend or not, that is all that matters.

BTW you wanted a story so here is one I was on. On my first department, we got a call for a possible structure fire at 517 whatever street. We dress and mount up make the left out of the station and there is a NICE header! My officer yells back it's a worker and to get ready, then adds it is his neighbors house. Then as we start to make the turn onto the street and dispatch updates to a corrected address of 515 whatever! Not the officer's neighbors, now it is my officers house. we pull up and the whole second floor is rocking. My backup guy and me stretch the line and get ready to go in. The officer is back at the rig, obviously very upset and not coming up to the door. We go without him and do what we do. Afterwards no one held any hard feelings against him. It was his first house, they just closed and were getting ready to move in. I would have shit myself if it was my house.

We never know how we will react to something until it happens. Remeber your first fire, your first real pin-in. You didn't know if you were gonna pass the test, but you did and you loved it. Now you passed this test, it sucked but you did the job required of you!
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 3:34:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By PFD147:
Anonimity is our friend, most of the time "better them than us" and " at least it isn't my family"


Very true.

Thanks for the advice guys, much better now.

TRG

Link Posted: 2/25/2007 5:25:45 AM EST
Damn, RG... glad your friend's OK.

Back in the day, I didn't want my folks to move into The City becuase it was in my still district.

Fast forward a few years... Mom's living with us, and I wind up xporting her when she was complaining of flu-like symptoms after her chemo session. She had pnuemonia. I was able to deal with it pretty well by that time... of course, Mom was conditionally terminal.

As I told the Board while being interviewed many years ago... somethimes the best therapy is sitting around the table and talking to the guys - they've probably been there before and can help you get through it.

And there's nothing against a stiff drink when you get home... as long as it's not an everyday occurence.

Stay safe (and sane)
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 9:15:12 AM EST
TRG,
I am not a ff/ems but, I am a part time leo. For some reason the public perceives us as being more then human, not true. We in the first responder arena see people at there worst day in and day out. It takes a toll on a person. Now you add in the fact that you know there person, I would have been concerned if you did not have an emotional response. Crying is fine, it is human. From your friend’s point of view, like others have said, you did not cry in front of her and that is what she needed to see. You did the best you could, and it worked out. Be happy your friend is ok, take a healthy cry if you need to and talk to friends about it. It would seem that you have a good support structure here and in real life. Sounds like you will be ok. The worst thing to do is bottle it up. Keep up the good work.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 12:06:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By rookie421:
TRG,
I am not a ff/ems but, I am a part time leo. For some reason the public perceives us as being more then human, not true. We in the first responder arena see people at there worst day in and day out. It takes a toll on a person. Now you add in the fact that you know there person, I would have been concerned if you did not have an emotional response. Crying is fine, it is human. From your friend’s point of view, like others have said, you did not cry in front of her and that is what she needed to see. You did the best you could, and it worked out. Be happy your friend is ok, take a healthy cry if you need to and talk to friends about it. It would seem that you have a good support structure here and in real life. Sounds like you will be ok. The worst thing to do is bottle it up. Keep up the good work.


True, and posting about it here helps as well. It had me shook up yesterday whenever I took the time to think about seeing her there on the backboard. Today...much better.

It will change the way I look at accident scenes. Anonymity is no longer something I will expect.

TRG
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 12:32:18 PM EST
There were 2 Fairfax county officers killed last year, I attended Det. Vicky Armel's funeral. I did not sleep for about a week. It really messed me up. I spoke to my fto on how to deal with it and I also spoke to leo friends. Talking with folks helped me a lot. I am glad to hear you say you are doing better.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 12:54:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 1:10:22 PM EST by ilikelegs]
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 12:58:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By ilikelegs:


Hey, my friend, check your IM, please.

TRG
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 4:11:56 AM EST
This is one reason why I moved away from my hometown. I was sick of running on people I knew. 12 year old I taught swim lessons too who was hit by a car on Thanksgiving - killed. Close family friend with cancer, hearing my parents address toned out, and at least 4 or 5 more. Knowing that most of my family lived in my first or second in put me in a 1 in 3 chance of having to run on my parents, grandparents, or sister just made it difficult.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 8:49:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 8:54:33 AM EST by ChrisLe]

Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
I might be able to put this in perspective.

12 hours later, I can now talk about it without holding back tears. This is the first time I responded on an injured friend.

TRG


There is no way to put something like this into perspective. On 09/11 I knew I lost dozens or brother firemen and LEOs, but I moved on and, in a false sense of hope, kept digging. It wasn't until the list of missing MOS was circulated at ground zero late on 09/12 did the realization hit home. I read that list and recognized the names of decade old coworkers, a few of my academy instructors, former partners, and countless MOS that I knew in passing. It hit me like a sledgehammer.

I remember my hands shaking uncontrollably as i read page after page of missing MOS. I also remember passing it off to a FF next to me, and I could see his reluctance and unwillingness to accepting the list as if not accepting it would be an acknowledgment to the fact that they were not, and could not be dead.

There was nothing else to do other than to continue on. The one thing i did swear to myself was that I would never walk into a bar after getting off work at the WTC (and I didn't for the entire 6 months I worked there). Thank God as had I walked into a bar, I most likely would have never walked out and lived out the rest f my life as an alcoholic. Sadly, others I know did end up that way.

Be confident in the fact that you did your job, and did it well. That is allwe can hope for...
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 2:24:26 PM EST
No shame , man. Letting it loose is good and healthy, especially in our line of work. Confideing in one of our own is a good release.

Never keep it in. Be composed on scene, but don't feel you need to bottle it up for ever. Doing so will only add to the suicide rate in our respective vocations.

Hang in there.

Carry on.
Link Posted: 2/28/2007 2:39:59 AM EST
Ask any FF/LEO/EMS what their nightmare scenarios are and most of them will tell you that responding to an incident involving a loved one is #1 on the list.
Yours turned out well, be thankful for that.

I've been incredibly fortunate that in 15 years I've yet to respond to a serious incident involving someone I care for.

About a month ago my friend and former partner at a different FD responded to an unknown type rescue, he pulls up and finds out his teenage daughter just got raped.
He kept it together long enough to care for her but had to take a leave of absence to deal with it properly. He and his daughter are putting their lives back together with help from professionals and with the support of their friends and family.

I can't imagine what he's going through, I'm upset right now just typing this. I guess the important thing is to not keep it bottled up and don't be afraid to seek help. The people you work with can be a huge help as well, there are also policies in place to deal with this type of incident so take advantage of them.
We're all in this together.
Stay safe.
Link Posted: 2/28/2007 7:58:56 AM EST
Showing emotion during someone's crisis only shows that you are human, ie. WARM and CARING. We act so clinical most of the time to save from getting too much involved in the situation so that we can concentrate on providing the care needed for those needing it. Unfortunately this can lead to being too cold when some are looking for support, even from strangers, to let them know that they will be okay.


That emotional support has a positive impact on a persons healing process. Your friend will more than likely have a far more positive memory of the even now that they had a friendly face to put on the personnel providing treatment.

As voiced before, we'd only be worried if you HADN'T been effected. Being emotionally responsive to the patient only hinders if it prevents you from giving them appropriate care.
Link Posted: 2/28/2007 8:03:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/28/2007 8:06:15 AM EST by TheRedGoat]
Thank you all for the encouragement and support.

For me, this thread served its purpose. It is a little embarrassing to read the earliest post that I made, since I am now able to accept the feelings that I had.

I would sort of prefer the thread was trashed so it does not look like I am dwelling on the issue now.

It's behind me, and I thank those that spoke up and shared.



TRG
Link Posted: 2/28/2007 8:15:56 AM EST
One of our fireman was going through a divorce so he moved in with his brother, who was retired FF in another city. Found him unresponsive, and called it in. His son, one of the newest dispatchers, took the call.

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