I’ve become one of them…..

I don’t even know how to start…explain how I feel, defend how I feel or just go take some xanax and forget about it.  I’m a total adrenalin junkie.  Was this born in to me or was it acquired because of my daily hits for the adrenalin high resulting from my 911 job?  Whatever the reason, I love to let my senses soak in shiny things that make a lot of noise and go fast…like fire trucks, rescue vehicles and cop cars.

My first love is EMS and fire.  About two decades ago, I followed a dream or wild hair and decided to take training to become an EMT for a local volunteer ambulance service.  I completed the training portion of becoming a certified emergency first responder but didn’t actually take my state test because reality set in and I realized I lived in the wild…I have another politically incorrect name for it that ends with Egypt…and did not live close enough to the station of the volunteer fire/ems for my area to even consider my value in becoming a member.  The only paid EMS service was in Newton and required fireMAN training also.  I let that dream go…My thirst for the danger and adrenalin manifested by becoming a reserve police officer for a small town about 20 minutes from our house in the country.  It was very hard work for my then acquired age…the physical training was difficult but I had a dream and the drive to do it and I had my friend, Rod, to keep me on track.  Rod and I passed, did the pepper spray training, asp training, trained and certified for our permits to carry and we were on the job.

NinaNina and Rod

The Chief of the Department put me into the elementary school 1 day a month to talk to kids about the police and 911 and let them talk to me about whatever and just be a presence.  This was a volunteer position.  After about a year, my dad had died, I had fought depression and gained some weight.  I knew my days of wearing the uniform were over when Rod and I were working a community event…I needed to go the bathroom…after the deed was done, I couldn’t zip my uniform pants…so I opened the door to the bathroom and yelled at him to come in…we had  an exchange of loud conversation where he was insisting he wasn’t coming into the women’s restroom and I was insisting that he was or we weren’t going anywhere..I won…he came in and zipped my pants while I held them closed.  This was our friendship…this was my WOD.

Toward the end of my career at 911, I was heavily involved with the county emergency management..I really thought that when I retired, I would go that route and do something in the related field…

So to make a long story a little longer.  I heard emergency sirens coming a couple of nights ago…then I heard the fire truck fog horns and knew this wasn’t just an ambulance run…this was important and they were making the “get the hell out of our way” noise.  I looked out the front window and saw a lot of smoke hanging in the valley….and then more sirens and more heavy fire trucks and more noise and I had to see what was going on…

In order not to look like your typical rubber neck, I leashed Frannie up for a walk.  It was a fire all right – many departments showed up…fire trucks and police car and rescue units were passing me on the street – loud, bright and exciting.  All the while, I thought to myself I used to absolutely hate the rubber neckers or the idiots who would call the police to see what was going on when they heard a siren.  Here as I was.  My total rush had nothing to do with the house being on fire as all of the other morons standing on the corner with Frannie and I.  I was there for the high.  I was there for hearing the rumble of the arriving apparatus trucks and the sirens and the lights.  I’ve become one of them….

Until next time

Marsha Patterson (and I use her last name because there is another Marsha in this story) is “police” dog handler in a neighboring county and neighboring volunteer fire department – We call Marsha when we need a dog for tracking, cadaver dogs and when we need the volunteer Jasper County sheriff’s office reserves to be activated because she is one of those too.  Recently she brought Bullet and Tazor into her life and into the life of all of us at the sheriff’s office.  One is a blood hound and one is a shepherd – frequently she brings the pups to the sheriff’s office for socialization because there are several of us in the S.O. that are just crazy over these two puppies…and we really like Marsha too.. Yesterday, I learned that she not only had the pups with her but had been training and had the two older dogs too.  A beautiful golden who is a cadaver dog and an equally beautiful german shepherd who has proven himself to us as a tracker.   Marsha got these two older dogs out of their kennels and put the babys back in…Nancy Dunsbergen, Marsha and I were lovin’ up the dogs and I thought the shepherd was acting like he may need to use the facilities…we headed for the grassy area – I had the leash wrapped around my legs so as I was twisting around to loosen the leash, I tripped over my own feet and ended up falling backwards in the parking lot.  This is where the dream segment starts…you know…please let this just be a bad dream. OW.

Now there is something about laying on the ground in the fetal position with your friends taking care of you…realizing that no, in fact, you can’t get off the ground..yes…I guess I do need an ambulance and the whole total embarassment that these are the people that you work with every day and now you are vulnerable, yet thankful..then you hear the ambulance coming with sirens – OH GOD!  When the ambulance arrived, Marsha Steele, the office manager told the crew that the first thing they need to do was cut off my clothes, the deputy who got the blanket out of his car to cover me up said that the last time he used this was to cover up a dead person – although taking it back said, naw…its just the blanket Gus lays on…His huge dog.  I had it made because Marsha Patterson, the EMT was already on the ground with me, holding my head up, feeling my spine, making me wiggle my toes and firmly telling me to STOP MOVING YOUR HEAD 🙂  The reality that these people do these things for complete strangers on a daily basis  brings me the most emotion…unless you are in one of these situations, you don’t know what these cops, EMS or fire personnel do for us on a daily basis…I’ve mentioned before about my respect for volunteer fire and EMS personnel…neighbors who are our heros…but the next time you are trying to avoid the cop so you don’t get a ticket…remember that for the most part, they are a bunch of compassionate human beings who are doing a thankless job most of the time.

Now, about me.  Went to the ER…xrays showed no deformaties just some bone bruising…the doctor said I was going to hurt for a few days…and he followed that up, chuckling, that he knows this because he is a doctor…it could have been my reaction to his comment.  How refreshing to have an ER doc with a personality..and the nurses at Skiff…second to none in their care and compassion..

Oh..then there are my husband and daughters.  He was my dependable, loving husband.  Katy, who had arrived home from Ohio, came to the hospital too…and in reference to my million trips to ER with my mother when she got old, said…and so it begins…

I’m fine, I hurt, but I have ice, meds and feel loved.  I’m thankful.