As we leave the Labor Day holiday and look forward to the leaves changing in our great state, I ask that we take a moment to reflect on the events leading up to the Labor Day holiday. On August 31, 2010, not only did we suffer a great loss in Arkansas EMS, but we lost part of our family during the crash of Air Evac 30. Our deepest sympathy is extended to the families of each of those that we lost during this horrific incident as well as the loss of our partners in many different aspects.

Most of us have encountered a situation that brings reality to the realm of our life during our years in EMS. If you haven’t had the occasion to reflect on the loss of a friend, colleague or partner, you will most likely in some point during your career. This is a situation that will arise from time to time in which we will reflect on the positive situations that these individuals have brought to our profession as well as all the smiles that they have instilled in our lives.

Certainly, after such a tragic loss, we often wonder if we will ever be the same while delivering the patient care that we have learned and practiced daily. Will we be able to climb back on board to assist those that we know nothing about? Will we be able to provide the quality of care that we have practiced while working side by side with those we have lost? Where will we go from here? How will we get there? All of these questions are easily answered each time we receive that call for help. Let’s recall the passion that each of us have for assisting those that we know nothing about. The passion and pride that we have for being a professional in the EMS industry. The same passion that our fallen partners had when they deployed to each call, ready and willing to make a difference in some one’s life. We must remember that we are all a part of a family that many others may find it hard to understand. We must rely on those that are left on this earth to continue the quality of patient care and response that our fallen partners have instilled in us.

Sure, it is easy to sit and say that those that we lose would want us to pick up the pieces and continue doing what we know to do and do it proudly. However, speaking from experience, it is one of the hardest things that we will encounter. Those who have worked side by side with the one’s that we have lost know what I am speaking of. There will be times when we look around expecting to see the smiling face of our friend and realize that they are not there in a physical sense, yet the feeling that we have could come from the angelic wings that they now wear while they watch over our daily lives and endeavors.

Remember, they are now watching over us in all that we do and guiding us into perfection while we strive to carry on without them here on earth. Let these thoughts and rememberances bring you a steady hand while drawing up life altering medications , an extra glow to appear as you are trying to pass that tube through some of the most difficult airway situations and may there be a calmness come over you in the most chaotic circumstances.

Kenny, Ken and Gayla will be sorely missed over many years to come, yet their passion for the sick and injured will live with us for the rest of our lives. It is our responsibility to ensure that we reflect back on the changes they have made while doing what they loved!

To each and everyone that reads this, I wish you the best as an EMS Professional and pray for your safety each day that you will be able to return home to your family and loved ones. I am grateful and thankful to be a part of your family and I am humbled that you are a part of mine.

God Bless each of you in this trying time and please be safe out there!