Friday, February 8

My EPS Ride Along

I am a huge fan of public service. It is in my blood. When I was little I wanted to be a police officer, and for the longest time thought very seriously about joining the military. I ended up In EMS and I went to a civilian school to get that instead of going the Military route.

I loved being an EMT. I loved the comradery and the unity. I loved working with a partner and I loved the fast pace and adrenaline of some days, not every day was exciting, but when it got crazy it was bat shit cray! There tends to be a bit of an ego that comes along with public service too. People with strong personalities are often the ones in those lines of work which means there was sometimes conflict due to superiority complexes but also there is a constant competitive feeling and nature to tasks..It was great!

I found Public Service very rewarding.  When you are there to  help people through some of their worst days either physically or emotionally there is a huge sense of gratification that accompanies that, because you are indeed, serving the public.

It has been a long time since I was in an ambulance or an air ambulance, over a decade actually. So when I agreed to do a ride along after so many years I was unsure how it would all go. I was nervous I would fall asleep (I am not used to staying up so late anymore) or I would be so annoying to the officer with my constant bathroom breaks that he would just leave me on the side of the road on the way to a call. Fears aside  I wanted to go, so last night  I went on a ride along with EPS (Edmonton Police Service)..

EPS Dan picked me up around 6 pm at the radio station and off we went right away to our first call. There was a strange familiarity and comfort being out with Edmonton's finest.. It was really fun. Dan is the husband of one of our texters and has often stopped by to say hi to Rob and I,so I felt comfortable and safe straight off. I was so lucky, we had a variety of calls ranging from possible B&E's where AIR1 was called to help, to a drunk driver and speeders. I got to watch EPS Dan run peoples licence plates and  saw  how they receive their dispatch orders, It was really interesting.

EPS Dan and his wheels

AIR1 Hard to see but they are there

Also during the evening Dan took me to HQ and I got to go to the firing range. I was surprised at how excited I got. It was an adrenaline rush like the ones I use to get going to an ambulance call . I had a few during the night and they felt fantastic and very comfortable.
I was nervous to shoot the gun, I didn't think I would be but I was. Dan explained everything and then let me try. I felt strangely powerful with that hand gun. I felt powerful and at the same time shockingly terrified. Dan set up my target and moved it out for me. I took my stance and had the gun pointed at the target ready to go, heart pounding huge anticipation...but even after he said go ahead, I just stood there.
I don't really know what I was thinking about, I just kept standing there trying to slow my heart rate down enough to stop hearing it pound in my hears. I slightly squeezed the trigger and BAM the gun fired! It shook my arms and chest in a way I did not expect. It had enough kick that I thought I might come close to dropping it and the shell comes flying out and over top of me. It all happened so fast I almost missed it. But when I finally focused enough to see what I had done, I saw there was a hole in the chest of the target. For a brief second I imagined what that actually might look like in real life and scared myself.
The smell of fresh gun powder was mildly arousing and all I could think of was how much I wanted to do that again NOW! I got to put up a new target and keep the one with my first shot. When the second target went up I felt a little more relaxed and just had fun.

Loading the clips

Safety First 

My first shot and the shell

I am pretty good if I do say so myself.

I am pretty boss!

We left the gun range after what felt like only seconds there (my arms were really tired after which I did not expect) and drove around more, still feeling pretty euphoric from shooting I asked Dan tons of questions about working and the city. This life is very fascinating to me. We drove all around and I got to say hi to Dans old partner( Daina)  who had come to the radio station a few times with Dan. It was fun to catch up and laugh with other officers.

At one point I had a passing thought, I should try out for EPS, I think it would be so fun..that's when the bad call came in over the radio.

When I heard the dispatcher give the information I felt my excitement for the evening drain a little. It sadly, was a call I have been to before as an EMT, and I quickly asked Dan if we had to go to it. He assured me we didn't and I felt such a wash of relief I couldn't speak for a minute. That was when I remembered how much I didn't miss parts of public service. Often when you work in Fire, EMS and Police your everyday is filled with some pretty dramatic and awful stuff. And over time (at least for me) it was hard to leave that stuff at work. When your "everyday" is full of peoples worst days of their lives, it takes a toll on you. I was so thankful Dan and I didn't have to go to that call, I felt another familiar feeling then, I felt done. Done with having to be apart of peoples worst days.

I wanted to stay the whole shift, but I could only do until 1:30 am before my eyes started to cross from being so tired. Dan took me back to the radio station to get my car and I thanked him for all the fun. As I drove home I was so tired, but good tired. I had such a fantastic night, I can't wait to go again. Maybe next time I will try RCMP or maybe go for a tour of the military base. When I climbed into be I just felt so happy to never have to do shift work again. I felt grateful I got to go and grateful I didn't see anything to awful.


I am so thankful for EPS and all public servants for the amazing jobs they do for us all.

I am grateful for a wonderful job that I am happy with that challenges me.

I am grateful for memories of a life long past. That was a wonderful and difficult time, and I am thankful for where and who I am because of it.


1 comment:

Emma said...

Yay, EPS Dan... One of my besty's Hubby :) Miss you all!