Ben Blankenship

Ben Blankenship

I’ve had the privilege to be involved in EMS for more than thirty years, and it just keeps getting better. You all are what makes it better.

You, the seasoned veterans who have pretty well seen everything you can imagine. You, the new EMT, with the deer in the headlights look, not knowing what will happen on the next run but praying your training will kick in when needed and you, the experienced rock solid field provider who at times wonders what in the world am I doing in this field. Why don’t I go somewhere and make some real money instead of fighting to make it from paycheck to paycheck.

You stay in the profession, because without you more people would die. Without you our world would not be as safe, and the quality of life that we enjoy would be reduced significantly. We have a purpose in this world and we do our jobs with pride. Yes, our hearts ache at times when there is just nothing else we can do for a patient and they succumb to their maladies, but the times when we intervene successfully and a father, mother, sister or brother goes home to their family… that is why we are here. We are the difference and we must never forget the impact we make on other’s lives.

I recently helped shepherd a bill through our legislature for line of duty death benefits for our profession, and I was actually surprised at some of the lobbyists’ comments prior to the committee hearings. One said that no benefit bills would ever make it through this session, and another said that Mother Teresa herself could not get one through. Our bill made it through both houses without a single “No” vote.

The reason was us — what we do and the fact that we touch everyone’s lives at some point. It may be a friend or a family member or neighbor, but we touch them all. Some of the most powerful people in our state recognize our contributions. They don’t line up to thank us, but when we need something, they are there to help. We will be calling on them for help in the future to help us all implement our state’s trauma system. They know it is needed, and they know that it must be implemented to help us enhance the quality of life for our neighbors.

One of the things we will be doing this year is to embrace technology and begin issuing some of the Lifeline editions electronically. The issues will be published on the website. Hopefully this will get them to you in a more timely fashion. Keep up the good work, my friends. We are needed. Stay safe.

I appreciate you all,