Dear Peggy, I am an EMT. Two weeks ago, our department lost a dear friend and co-worker as the result of a car accident. In addition to this loss, our department was called out to the accident and had to deal with pulling this friend out of the car. I was not on duty at the time and so I missed the call. What is bothering me is that I feel guilty for letting my colleagues and this young man down for not being there. Also, this has reduced my confidence for dealing with accident calls. I know that it will take time to rebuild it. I guess I just needed to talk to someone. Thank you.
Local newspaper headlines report the sad news of another fallen hero. The tragic death of a brave firefighter who has died in the line of duty. A dedicated professional who sacrificed his or her life that others may live or that homes and property would be saved from the ravages of fire. Most people halfheartedly acknowledge the event while searching for more significant information relating to their personal lives; a baseball score, stock market figures, want ads, or horoscopes. This newsworthy article is often overlooked by the casual reader.Civilians cannot relate to this type of tragedy nor can they comprehend the depth of grief and pain that every member in the fire service feels. Their lives will not be changed by this tragedy.
Unfortunately, this is not true for the family and co-workers of this fallen hero. Life as they knew it will never be the same again. Emotions run rampant and their seemingly normal lives spiral into a frightening and dark abyss where pain, loneliness, and grief are constant companions. Surviving this personal tragedy is, at times, almost unbearable. How does one survive? What lessons can be learned from these experiences?