Paramedics Proving What Christmas Is All About
I was working as an EMT for the local county ambulance service. One of our duties was to respond and standby anytime there was a large fire in the county. It was mid-December and very cold with about three inches of snow on the ground when we were dispatched to a fire standby in a rural portion of the county.
When we arrived on the scene, a two story home was fully engulfed in flames and the numerous fire trucks and personnel were attempting to put out the fire. The water was freezing on the ground and making for a hazardous situation for all involved.
The firefighters lead a family consisting of a mother, father and 3 children to our ambulance. All of them were barefoot and in pajama’s with just a thin blanket around them. We turned up the heat and sat them all in the patient compartment of our ambulance. We began talking and the mother started crying. They had no insurance on the home; they were blue collar workers who lived paycheck to paycheck. They had no money, no clothes, no home and all the toys they had bought for the small children for Christmas had just burned up. They were devastated and had no idea what they were going to do. Finally some family members showed up and took the family with them, but not before I asked where they would be staying and how to contact them.
Over the next few days, I contacted the local radio station and asked them to request donations for this family and to have them brought to the ambulance station. I also asked dispatch to alert local agencies of the dire need of this family. Within 2 days, our ambulance bay was completely full of new and used items for this family. We collected clothes, toiletries, furniture, cash and even new Christmas presents for them all. The family… had no idea this was all going on.
A few days later on Christmas Eve, we loaded all the things we had collected for this family (along with over $2,000 cash) into an ambulance and two fire trucks and headed to where they were staying. We arrived with Santa Claus riding on top of the fire truck with a bag of gifts in his hand.
The family was shocked to say the least. The mother and father were both crying and thanking everyone in sight. The children were thrilled to see Santa on a fire truck, and they even got to sit in the fire truck and ambulance and play with the lights and sirens.
This was one of the best gifts I have ever received for Christmas. It truly is the gift of giving that makes the holidays worthwhile. I will never forget the gratitude the family showed that morning, and the smiles on the faces of their children. The outpouring of support from the community and other emergency agencies in the county was amazing.
Many jobs in EMS are thankless and hazardous jobs. When things like this occur and you see something great come out of something awful like this… It truly makes a career in EMS worth it all!
By Tabatha P.