5%

Someone recently asked how many of my calls were true "emergencies". I said 5%.

5% may even be an over-estimation Something I’ve come to realize and have to accept that we are not in the business of saving lives. We are in the business of solving problems. Boiled down, our job is to be the clear head in the situation where no one else can seem to get their shit together.

Yes this is a great illusion. It is not why I got into this business or why anyone got into this business. Work has become like air travel, long periods of boredom punctuated by tiny moments of excitement. Like, when a meal arrives.

But maybe this is a natural part of any job. Any job becomes routine. Maybe anyone with 10 years in any field would feel the same way. Maybe anyone would say that their job is at its zenith 5% of the time. Maybe I am lucky that I can. That, or we’ve convinced ourselves that public service is easy and rewarding which often it is not.

There is no sense in dwelling on these truths. I can be on the road to burnout and world-hatred, or, I can accept, move on and try to be the best paramedic I can be. Because one day, in that 5% moment, that’s the paramedic the patient needs.

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