Imagine yourself as a paramedic who is just about finished your 12-hour shift. You arrive in a house and you see a dead baby lying in a crib. The parents are yelling and screaming at each other and at you. The baby’s father is accusing you of not doing enough to save their baby and may physically assault you.
Sometimes this is a regular day in the life of a paramedic. They have been known to work long and difficult shifts without a break. 24-hour shifts are surprisingly common in this industry.
May 24 – May 30 is Paramedics Week. This is the perfect time to thank our paramedics for the heroic work they do. Their training, dedication and quick thinking helps countless people facing life-or-death situations. This year’s theme focuses on the hazards they face on the job, particularly Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Even though paramedics learn how to separate work from their personal lives, sometimes that’s hard to put that into practice. That’s why paramedics need strong social supports. They need to know what the symptoms of PTSD are and seek help immediately.
16-25 percent of our paramedics will suffer from PTSD at least once in their lifetime. And the consequences can be dire. In January alone four Canadian emergency responders took their own lives on the job.
That’s why we need to pat our paramedics on the back for the critical work that they do. They put their minds and their lives on the line every day. If you would like to support paramedics who are suffering from PTSD, you can participate in the I Run & Rock event that’s being held in Newmarket on Saturday, May 30. The event will feature a 10 K run, a classic car show, and a live performance from the Canadian band Glass Tiger.
The purpose of the event is to raise money and awareness for emergency workers who are suffering from PTSD. The money will be used to buy trauma dogs for paramedics, police officers, firefighters and other first responders who are suffering from the condition. If you would like to support I Run and Rock, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.