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My quirky views on life, love and parenthood!

Archive for the category “Hometown Heroes”

Hometown Heroes: Emergency Medical Personnel


If you have experienced this you can appreciate it…

You wake up slowly, you’re dazed, with blood trickling down your brow and you taste it in your mouth. You try to move, everything hurts! Just blinking your eyes takes more energy than you have. After a few minutes you become aware of the sounds around you, the blinker blinking, the wind gently blowing, and the crunching sound of the glass around you as you shift your weight.  What you also notice, is that you are upside down. As the waves of nausea pass over you, you struggle to contain the panic inside. You know you have to get out!

The first battle, is to undo the seat belt and with swollen tingling hands this task takes forever.  After the first few tries you pause in frustration. Through the haze you hear someone trying to talk to you…. “Hang on, help is coming. Don’t move!” At that moment you freeze and your head continues to pound. Taking deep breaths to calm your nerves never seemed like such punishment before. Soon you hear sirens getting louder as they approach.

When the ambulance, fire truck, and police arrive there is instantly commotion. Through the echos of doors slamming and people talking your head begins to buzz with all the noise.  You hear footsteps rhythmically pounding over the pavement, crunching through the glass and debris until you see big boots and a uniform kneeling, and then a face. That wonderful moment when you no longer feel alone.  You are still scared, but God has granted your request and help is here. He introduces himself  “Hi my name is Shane, I am with the fire department and I am here to help you”. As he begins to assess the situation a team of firefighters work to get you out of the car and on to a back board.

Once on the backboard they strap you down! Your head is strapped down, along with your waist and feet. It is so uncomfortable! You can’t move, or shift or anything! Of course that’s the point, but you feel so helpless and so ugly. You face is puffy, and between the blood, snot, and tears you feel like a mess! Once on the backboard they graciously pass you over to the ambulance crew. Who once again introduce themselves “Hi my name is Mel and this is my partner Shaun, we are with D.P. ambulance and are here to help you”!After introductions they begin to ask you questions. During that time they assess your airway, breathing and circulation. Then  you get loaded into the ambulance and begin your journey to the hospital.

Between, the movement of the ambulance, the sound of the siren, and the questions you begin to feel relief but reality also sinks in. You were just in a car accident and were injured! As he continues to check you for injuries he also puts in an iv for fluids. Breathing is not helping at this point and the nausea starts in again. You hope that you make is to the hospital before you puke in the ambulance! No such luck, what was in your stomach comes hurling up! Through the chunks you apologize “I’m so sorry…”! The paramedic remains calm and reassuring “It’s ok, this isn’t the first time”. It’s a good thing, you would feel embarrassed but it’s to late for that. Your hair is matted, and your still pounding head remains strapped to the headboard. The blood that was once dripping is now crusted to your face, and the makeup you dared to wear is now mostly gone and the leftover bits are smeared all over your face. What a pretty site.

It doesn’t seem to matter! He continues his small talk in a reassuring tone. In those short scary moments you have developed a bond! In one of the worst moments in your life someone was there and helped you and is telling you everything is going to be OK, and you believe them!

Once you arrive at the hospital they unload you and begin to tell the staff there a myriad of numbers, which apparently are your vitals. Once they get you settled in with the nurses they say goodbye, do some paper work and are called away to another emergency to do the same process all over again.

Though this is one of the worst days of your life…it is just another day at work for them!

Here they come to save the day!

Those that work on an ambulance are worth their weight in gold! They like other emergency services are highly trained and are so important to our communities.  Like any organization there are different levels of training and requirements. Two types of personnel are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) and Paramedics.

No matter what your title I just want to say “Thank You” to emergency medical personnel. The jobs that you do are so very important to our communities and not acknowledged enough.

Freedom is Not Free


Memorial day is coming to an end and I am exhausted from spending time with my family. Throughout the day and again this evening I am thinking about the true meaning of Memorial Day. We are surrounded by so many who are serving our country today as well as veterans who have served and survived. Even more are the friends and family members of those that lost their lives for our country.

I know many, who to this day do not talk about their time served and the things that they have witnessed. They went to the military as young men and women. They came out changed, many for the better and some wounded in ways that we cannot see.  They have pushed their bodies through weather, pain and war. Their minds have been exposed to the bonds of brotherhood as well as the great sadness of loss. They have had to witness things beyond our comprehension. They have made enormous sacrifices so we can maintain our freedom!

Several years ago I went to Washington D.C. on vacation. To see where our four fathers stood, and to take in our nations treasures. There I  saw the Vietnam Memorial Wall which left me speechless. There are so many names. As you walk along and read some of the names you also see some of the items that have been left. These included letters and flowers along with other small items. I watched as others found names they knew. Some laid their hand over the name, others cried softly to say goodbye. Still others talked to a friend they greatly missed.

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As we continued our walk we ended up at the  Korean War Memorial which has the statement “Freedom is Not Free”. Now although this statement is on the Korean War Memorial, I believe that it is true for any war or military action we have entered. I have thought about that statement off and on over the years and even in my sheltered little corner of the world I would have to agree. Through the sacrifice of so many it is how we gained and have maintained our freedom.

We cannot take for granted the freedoms we enjoy!

Remember our soldiers who have served and who are serving today.

Courageous


Now I know this isn’t a new movie it was released in February. But it is a movie that I have enjoyed watching several times now. For Christmas my husband received a pre-purchased ticket for the movie. When we picked up the movie a couple of months later we watched it with our youth group. It made me laugh, cry, and think…How am I as a parent?

So over the next couple of months I have been more aware of things and the importance of being a parent. This not only includes my involvement but also the involvement of my husband. To many times as women we want to be in control. We want to fix and mother in our own ways. Through the movie Courageous it reaffirms so much of what the Bible states about being a father.

Although being a Mother is a high honor, we can not discount the importance being a Father has on the foundation and success of our children.

Friday my son came home and he wanted to watch a movie. He happened to pick out Courageous. So him and my husband sat down and watched it.  They also got to talk and have Father/Son time afterwards.

Today my parents came over and we had family time.  We had a BBQ, they played outside, naps were taken, and low and behold my son wanted to watch another movie. So what did he suggest…..Courageous! He stated it was his new favorite movie! Not only does the movie have a message that we all need but it has humor and action that is able to keep the attention of all three of my children from ages 6 to 10.

I have watched several of the movies produced and directed by Alex Kendrick and the same company including FireProof, and Facing the Giants. This by far is my favorite; however, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed the message of each movie they have produced.

I love the fact that we were able to watch a movie with our entire family and not worry about language, content, or provocative material and were still spellbound and in stitches and just as moved as a main stream movie. I am thankful that as the Christian community someone has identified the need and giving something the people desperately need.

Thank you to my family that we had such a wonderful day!

Hometown Heroes: Firefighters


When you say “Hometown Hero” many of us first think about our military personnel who are serving their country through deployment or at home. I can not say “Thank You” enough for the job they do and the sacrifices that they make. I know that the whole family sacrifices in ways that many of us never see. So for your courage, honor and diligence and sacrifice, Thank You!

On a different level I am talking about heroes in our communities. Individuals who willingly raise their hands and say “pick me” to help those in our community.  They may just look like one of us out of uniform but they make sacrifices for us as well. Over the next several weeks I want to take the time to recognize and highlight our hometown heroes!

The first set of hometown heroes I would like to recognize are our firefighters. Now, I am not a firefighter. So if a building is burning, I will be running outside and calling for help! Hopefully with clothes on!! Unlike me, first responders (Firefighters, Cops, EMT’s, etc.) come running when chaos ensues. This may be in the form of your house on fire, a car accident or so many other calls they receive. No matter when tragedy happens they’re ready! This means that they are available and come to our rescue 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year!

Now, how do I know this? Well, first  I have been in a car accident, and second my husband happens to be a firefighter.  So on a personal note I have had the privilege of having them rescue me! I can tell you first hand that (in general,we all have our bad days) they are positive, patient and funny people! They see us at our worst… smeared makeup, crying, in pain, embarrassed, drunk, high, naked, and everything in between!

As the wife of a firefighter I can also tell you that they make sacrifices. They may be hungry, thirst, tired, or sore but they will be there!  If there is a fire they don’t just put it out, they also stay there for hours, making sure there are no hotspots, and they also do a lot of  cleanup. It may be someone’s birthday, or a holiday, or date night, if they are needed they respond! As a first responder plans can be difficult to make because things can change in a moment.  If you are a wife, girlfriend, parent, or their child there are sacrifices that are made as well. You are forgiving, patient, supportive, understanding and resilient.  Some people ask “Why do you do it”? For those anal planners out there it may not make any sense. For othes it makes perfect sense! Over the years I have asked my husband that very same question and his response has been “…because it is so rewarding”! He gets to help people at their worst moments and gets to help them, even if it’sjust for a short time.

So how much do we really know about our firefighters?

In the United States in each state; more specifically our counties, cities and towns we have firefighters. In big cities such as New York City, Denver, Seattle, and Miami, firefighters have a large community presence and are paid. However; in smaller communities we also have firefighters but they serve the entire county not just our town. For example our local fire district is run by the county and they provide service for an area that is 330 square miles. Not only do these departments cover large areas many times whole departments are volunteers. This means that depending on the area, firefighters may receive a small stipend (a few hundred dollars a year) or a small amount per shift (much less than minimum wage). According to the National Volunteer Fire Council  there are about one million firefighters working each year and 73% of those are volunteers.  So how many of us would be willing to give our time, and ourselves to a stressful job, with long hours, and not much pay?

So the next time you start rambling on about how firefighters get paid to sit on their rump think about it… They are willing to risk their life for yours 24/7/365!

Are you willing to make that sacrifice? 

So, if I haven’t already stated this I am very thankful for firefighters and their families! I am proud to be the wife of a firefighter, and a friend of many firefighters both paid and volunteers alike!For without them the next time I have an emergency who would I call, Ghostbusters? I don’t think so!

Be sure you don’t forget to say thank you and let them know you appreciate each and every one of them! If you are really brave and think you can do it…talk to your local fire district and see if they take volunteers and how to apply! I DARE YOU!

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