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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 10/1/2005 2:03:37 AM EDT
Before I was a medic. Responded to a ugly MVA two years ago on Thansgiving weekend. Two little girls lost their lives. I worked on both, was first unit in. Did a debrief that night but didn't hear much. Talked to someone about it a few months ago. My question is..... just thinking about it makes me want to cry... I don't know why the images are coming back to haunt me now.... I know everything was done to save them.
I'm planning on going back to talk in more detail about this. Guess just reaching out for a little wisdom.

Thanks in advance for wisdom.....
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 2:50:37 AM EDT
Hey Madwoodster,

I had a similar experience getting shot at for the first time in July. I would have overwhelming feelings of sadness and at 2 different collision scenes, had to stop my radio traffic as I was (emotionally) breaking up and had to stop and compose myself. (eventhough the calls had nothing to do with people trying to take shots at me).

I went in to talk to the professionals at mental health and they were really helpful. I don't know if that type of thing is still looked down on where ever you are, but I would tell you that there is no shame in asking for help.

They should recommend treatments for PTSD. It worked much better than my self medicating made up of staring in front of the tv for hours and not watching a damn thing.
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 5:34:03 AM EDT
It all comes back because you have a heart.
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 11:27:40 AM EDT
You should definitely talk this out with a couselor. You, sir, are fine. You did all you could. Death is a part of life, even for children.
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 3:45:49 PM EDT
I'm not a cop or a medic, but I've dealt with my share of such things in the Marines. Talk to someone. If you can't talk to a professional, at least talk to someone else who understands. There is absolutly nothing good that comes from bottling it all up.
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 3:49:57 PM EDT
I'm an EMT and my roommate is a firefighter. 2 weeks ago he was on a fatal MVA, 4yo Girl ejected. He was pretty fucked up about it. You'd have to be a sociopath not to be. Take the counseling, don't even think about hitting the bottle.
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 3:55:59 PM EDT
Sorry I cannot help.
Prayers sent


Link Posted: 10/1/2005 3:57:03 PM EDT
CISD, You were taught it, use it. It works. To those not in EMS basically its a 3 dollar phrase for talking about it with other people that will understand. Get it out. If you need to cry, then cry. I've had to on a few occaisons and never once felt bad about it. You'd be amazed what your co workers will do when you get upset over a call. The toughest most bad ass acting SOB will a lot of times, be the first one to come over to talk it over with you.
Link Posted: 10/1/2005 11:48:42 PM EDT
Thank god I have not gone threw this type of situation, but I have family that has.

Your man with a heart thats why it hits you.

Talk with some body. A pro or some else that you fell safe talking to.

You'll pull threw.

Stay safe and stay away from the bottle.
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 6:10:55 AM EDT
I lost about a week's worth of sleep last year after a double fatality from a hit&run. I had seen worse, but these two teenage girls were just mangled, and the worst part about it is that we have yet to catch the sonofabitch who caused the wreck. I still get a little twitchy when I go past that road, but it's getting better.

I went to one debriefing, but it was too late and not very helpful. After generally being a PITA to everyone around me for about a month, I got help elsewhere and it has been a night and day improvement. There's nothing wrong at all with looking for some external guidance.
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 4:36:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/2/2005 4:36:51 PM EDT by fdawg]
It always sucks to lose kids, fall back on your brothers they will always help you out. They can empathize with you and understand what you might be feeling. Remember, tears shed, when you have so much emotion about something that it overflows...
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 4:46:18 PM EDT
Like everyone here has stated....GET IT OUT, AND TALK TO SOMEONE/ANYONE ABOUT IT. Like Vinnie stated, Death is a part of life, that you have no control over. Sure we try to help our damndest, but if your ticket is pulled itis pulled. You may never forget those images....I have a few images that seem to be glued to th einside of my eyelids. But think of it like this, if you never thought again about it you would not human. If you ever want to talk IM me for my number.

Stay Strong,
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 8:57:17 PM EDT
I am currently going thru the debriefing process, the result of a shooting Monday night. Talking helps. Severe cases require more involvement, and it sounds like you may fit the bill. (Don't worry bro, I'm in the same damn boat) You should have an Employee Assistance Program avaialbe to you, check with your Human Resources Dept.

Just make sure you go. I've been tempted to avoid "the talks" a lot, but so far have made mysefl go and it seems to help.
Link Posted: 10/5/2005 5:41:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/5/2005 5:42:51 PM EDT by TheAvatar9265ft]
had a couple of bad ones...

one fatality mva (died in our care) all i had to do was wait a few days go back over it step by step in my mind, very very stressfull but then it felt so much better

others went away with some thought

another one, terrible double fatality /w 3 other patients MVA first on scene, horrendously long transport of a critical kid... i couldnt ever get through the whole thing in my mind even two weeks later... but after about a month the heartburn went away and it got better on its own.

but if you know you did everything right try to think through the whole call, what you did. it might feel better when you or through... but dont come breaking down my door if it doesnt.

good luck brother!
Link Posted: 10/5/2005 8:10:22 PM EDT
First off... Thank you all for your inputs... it really does mean alot. I know that when it's your time you are going no matter what. I knew I needed help after it happened, just sat in my den for 3 days staring into the fire pit, hanging out with "The Captain". Knew that was a bad call but....

I'm going to give our Occupational health tomorrow. get in and see one of them.

On a brighter note, the accident has pushed me to get my medic. I know even a seasoned medic could not have changed the out come. I have replayed the call in my head a million times. It was simply to late for them. Hopefully with the new founded position I can have a little more control over things and Hopefully prevent some of the mistakes made on scene.

Thanks again.....
Link Posted: 10/5/2005 9:12:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/5/2005 9:14:38 PM EDT by cloak-n-carbine]
First off, anyone who's spent any appreciable amount of time in police/fire/ems is going to eventually deal with something like this. That, unfortunately, is part and parcel to what we do. People like us are the ones society needs to be strong in the face of such physical and emotional adversity, and to act almost robotically toward the end of "fixing what's broken" and possibly saving lives, or deterring crime. What you're feeling is normal. I had my first "kid fatal" two weeks out of the Academy, and had to do my first death notification with my FTO to the kid's family. That traumatized me for many years, especially whenever I relived the moments in my head (of course shit like that is photographically burned into most people's memories for as long as they live unless they are sociopathic with ice water running through their veins). The key to coping is not so much "getting over it" as it is "accepting it" and knowing that at least YOU answered the call and did what you could. I try to treat every MVA or "Code 16", as we call them, as if it were a member of MY FAMILY involved.......that way I know that I did my best for people who mean the world to whomever is waiting for them to arrive home safely. Second, you mention the phrase "control over things"..........you NEVER have "control" over "things".......the best you can hope for is to be able to manipulate the situation, with the input of your training and experience/expertise, toward the best possibe outcome......this is THE BEST you can hope for. The sooner you learn that you NEVER have CONTROL, the better. To assume that you have control is to assume that you are way more powerful than you actually are....and that is a dangerous road toward incurring much unnecessary and unwarranted guilt should things go south, as they unfortunately sometimes do. Don't make it a habit to "hang out with the Captain" too much....sometimes it's okay, but the answers to the ills that society throws our way do not lie at the bottom of a bottle....if I'm readin' ya right! Talk to close friends, family, and clergy...maybe even counselors. Have faith, hope, and the knowledge that, like I said earlier, YOU are answering the call.....continue to march and know that you did your best at the end of the day. Good luck and take care of yourself. This line of work swallows alot of people whole, don't become a statistic.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 2:05:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2005 2:05:31 PM EDT by gaspasser]

Originally Posted By NCFFEMTERT:
It all comes back because you have a heart.

Big +1
I have a firm belief in an afterlife. When that stuff gets to me I find refuge in my confidence that they are in a much better place.
Death is the end of us all. Unfortunately it comes to some sooner and uglier than others.
Dont' be afraid to speak to a professional. There are a lot of good ones out there.
Good luck.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 2:13:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fdawg:
It always sucks to lose kids, fall back on your brothers they will always help you out. They can empathize with you and understand what you might be feeling. Remember, tears shed, when you have so much emotion about something that it overflows...

What he said.

The only alcohol you should ingest during this time frame is a few beers with others that were on the call while you [macho] BS about the call and tell each other how good you did [/macho] [PC] debrief each other and provide peer counseling [/PC].

Nowdays of course we don't include the beers, and call it CISD , but even the "old timers" who brag about "no call ever bothering them" have sucked down a cold one and sought reassurance from folks who were their "old salts".

Don't drink alone... BTDT. It doesn't solve anything, and can lead to bigger problems.

You're on the right track talking to OccHealth.

Keep us posted, brother.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 5:32:56 PM EDT
cloak-n-carbine just to clear up a few points....

"you mention the phrase "control over things"..........you NEVER have "control" over "things".......the best you can hope for is to be able to manipulate the situation, with the input of your training and experience/expertise, toward the best possibe outcome......this is THE BEST you can hope for. The sooner you learn that you NEVER have CONTROL, the better. "

I learned in 6 months on the job that control over things is a wishful event. I'm a big fan of being first in to direct the flow of resources, set the tone of how the call is going to flow. If I end up coming in at the tale end, I'm a big fan of slowing things down and making sure the Pt. best interest are covered.

Mistakes were made, we are human. This I know. Just as long as I do not repeat them. I can look myself in the mirror every morning knowing I'm learning and growing. Every Pt. I come in contact with gets treated like I would want my family members treated.

I'm sorry that I can not put the call here of what happened from start to finish, I've started many times writing in all down. I will not air out the weaknesses in our system. I have addressed it to my Supervisors and Big bosses. Hopefully the mistakes will not be repeated. Would any of that saved their lives?? NO!! Nothing could have saved them...... it sadly was their time......

Thanks again for letting me vent... Time to more on to a happier subject...
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 6:56:03 PM EDT
Don't thank us for letting you vent. That's something we all need to, and should, do from time to time..............that's also what your colleagues are there for as well (I guess we qualify by proxy ). Also, don't beat yourself up over any "mistakes", as we all make them, and will continue to make them. I'm sure I don't need to tell you the old catch phrases and adages like, "well, as long as you learn from your mistakes", etc., blah, blah, blah, as I'm sure you well know. Just don't fall prey to the "what if" syndrome as it relates to any perceived mistakes stemming from your event in question. Acknowledge the facts that: a)you answered the bell when it rang (much of society has not the stomach nor the balls to do that); b)you acted in good faith with no intention of doing harm or making any "mistakes"; and c)you did your level best, which is pretty much all anyone can ask. Not to be redundant, but like I said in my earlier post, I find it beneficial toward the "empathy and effectiveness" end to treat those at MVA's and other traumatic, non-criminal call event as if they were personal friends or family. That just, for me anyway, puts me in a more driven and focused frame of mind. You did your best, I'm sure. Please just grow from this and try not to dwell on it in a negative way, because it will only eat you up, trust me. Feel free to "vent" any time...............we're always here to listen and provide feedback, even if we sometimes may say the wrong things, I believe our collective hearts are in the right place. Take care of yourself. Cloak
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