Sunday, January 14, 2007

Peripheral Vision

A blog I have listed in my links column titled Policing in the UK, made me think about something that police, fire, EMS and dispatchers have in common. Post traumatic stress, depression and stubborness. People who are not involved in these professions have stress, of course. However, very few CPA's or factory workers see or hear the death rattle of someone who died while you are in their presence or on the phone, or heard the screams of a fresh widow, or listened to an abuser describe calmly and without emotion how they scalded their child to death, or took a call from the mother or cut down an 11 year old child who just hung himself. Oh, that's just a small sampling of the parade of horror we're treated to every day. Management gives you no quarter. You're expected to report every day with a smile on your face and thank them vociferously for allowing you to answer their phones or go to their incidents all the while they are working no overtime, no 12 hour shifts and they never see or hear a thing you do unless they are investigating you. After a few years of this you get a sort of mental peripheral vision and can see the parade coming. It doesn't help, it just makes you more stressed, more depressed and more stubborn...and a little less human each day.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Terri said...

Don't forget as well the posts over at A Soldier's Perspective about PTSD. There's a couple links in the one I posted that have some great information. Having worked in Law Enforcement and EMS myself, I know full well the problems that PTSD can cause. Great post!

4:36 PM  
Blogger PJ said...

Yeah, I read those. They were helpful. I just wanted to share the desperation we in this profession and those on the street feel. You know the worst part is, the police and fire for the most part have no respect for what we do despite the fact that we have so much in common, and we cover their backs. This seems to be common in most agencies. Thanks for the encouragement, Terri. Where's your blog?

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Terri said...

It's linked on my user name PJ. I'm sure you'll enjoy some of the postings I've made about the "scrote" and his friends. LOL!

7:36 PM  
Blogger PJ said...

I'll have to look it up when I get home. I'm on a work computer and we're banned from My Space. Thanks.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Louie said...

The jobs that EMS, 911, police and firemen do everyday are very under rated.

I learned that first hand when I was an eye witness to a 14-yr. old boy getting hit by a car and being one of the first by his side. My inability to function hit hard due to the shock of seeing him after the impact. I will never forget what he looked like or the sounds coming from him. I covered him with my jacket and to this day have not touched that coat. It's almost a sacred thing or something.

I went through about a year of anxiety and depression and each year thereafter, on Dec. 17, my subconscious will not let me forget that ugly moment in time.

I could never do the job that any of you do and just wanted to thank you personally for what you do do. All types of service members are special people who should be recognized more often.

9:43 PM  
Blogger PJ said...

Louie, Thanks so much for your kind comments. You have my sympathy for your terrible experience. I hope it lessens over the years. Be well.

10:30 PM  

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