Early last October I turned 27 years old. I had been working my current job, as an EMT for Dekalb County 911, since 23 years old. I had always been content with it. I had developed a passion for the work we do and the people I worked with. I was able to pay my bills and live a comfortable life while doing the things I enjoyed. I never thought much about the future until a few days before my 27th birthday. We had just brought a patient to the hospital when I saw another EMT loading his stretcher into an ambulance. He looked to be about 60 years old; grey hair, wrinkles, the works. I watched as he struggled to lift the stretcher into the back of the ambulance. He looked tired. The type of tired that 40 years of running 911 calls all night would do to you. I saw glimpse into my own future. I saw no retirement. I saw 30k dollars a year for the next 40 years. I saw a bad back.
At present time I love my job. I get a thrill out of it. I get a sense of satisfaction when we prevent someones loved one from passing away. I get a laugh when people call 911 for a hangover. The money isn’t great, but it gets me by. I wondered if I would feel the same way down the road, as I struggle to lift the stretcher.
I decided I would not stick around to find out. It was time to be proactive and make changes. It was time to go back to school! I began collecting the necessary information to apply. I scheduled and passed my entrance exam. I attended orientation and registered for classes. I sold my car to pay for tuition. Everything I had planned was slowly coming to fruition. There was just one thing I had forgotten…
My bills. My mortgage. These things did not fit into my plan. I would have to work. 12 hour days on an ambulance can be grueling. Add in 12 hours a week of college courses on top of that. But I was now determined to do it. And to not let up in either my career or my school work.
So now here I sit, working over night on the ambulance. The fire station was nice enough to let me use their wireless internet to complete my blog assignment. I had to take a few breaks in between writing this to “work” when people called 911, but I was able to complete it. I know I can succeed in this, with a little determination, and a lot of CAFFEINE. :)