Mass Casualty

Dear Future Emergency Responder,


There will come a time when you enjoy CPR

And others won’t understand why you are excited for another person’s emergency


Every time your pager rings

Your heart skips a beat and you jump on the Engine


The falls, sicknesses, and breathing difficulties

Will seem like the same call over, and over again




Until, your first Mass Casualty Incident

When the Amtrak derails and every pager in two counties rings


Until, you show up on scene with twenty other engines

And thirty other medics


Until, the falls, broken bones, and breathing difficulties

Are for over seventy patients, not one


Until, you realize how vulnerable we really are

And that although you are twenty-two, you have a job to do


And after the lights and sirens are off at the end of the day

You will reflect


On the black, red, yellow, and greens

The bodies on the ground and the ones stuck in the train


On the derailment that changed the lives of your community

But made you closer with your crew


On how you have to jump back into the Engine tomorrow

Because today was just another day on the job


And you won’t enjoy CPR

Because you dread another person’s emergency


And your pager will ring

And the anxiety of another emergency call hits you


Until, you have shift dinner at the station

And you find


That you were not the only one

Who felt as if the train crash affected them too


And then you rebuild together

Because they are your family


And they jump in the Engine with you

And they get excited for a CPR with you


And they run to the emergency with you.


EMT Barlow



This poem is about: 
My community


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