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A letter from a Paramedic:

I can’t tell you what working on an ambulance is like. It’s far away from anyone’s version of a normal life. Spending a 3rd of your life with your partner (24 hours on, 48 hours off) is like having a second family away from home. It comes with a different set of expectations and feelings, and a different kind of trust that exceeds nearly anything else. The experiences you have at work in this field can only be shared by you and your partner.

I won’t tell you what the worst thing I’ve seen is. That is one of the cruelest questions you could ask one of us, to go back and relive a horror that no human being should have to experience. The percentage of emergency personnel who develop PTSD is second only to the military, and we accumulate the problems that go along with it at a staggering rate (drug/alcohol abuse, divorce, suicide).

I can tell you that we have an odd sense of humor. Many of us in the right situation have literally sung “staying alive” by the beegees, or “another one bites the dust” by queen while performing CPR. This is not meant to be sick, it is only meant to keep us in rythym.

I am sorry if while working on your family member, I appear to not be listening to you or addressing your concerns. Unfortunately I am often not permitted the opportunity to do that given the circumstances. Your loved one’s life/health can and must come before your questions.

The words “ambulance driver” are a source of great insult to us. If I were only a driver, I would not have gone to school, nor would I have more certifications in my back pocket than many floor nurses.

There is so much that should be said that the bounds of a given situation or pure professionalism prevent us from uttering. So I will say it here.

To the lady who lost her husband following a long battle with cancer-
I am sorry. I wish that there was anything that I could say to ease what you’re going through. I am sorry that the situation you were in made it impossible for me to hide your husbands asystolic ekg strip from you, and for the painful questions that I had to ask. I want you to know that you were the very epitome of grace and courage while we were there, and that you have inspired me to try to be the same in my own struggles with grief.

To the family of the critical patient that we transferred to an intensive care unit at another hospital, who died on the way:
I am sorry that we couldn’t give you more time to say goodbye. We weren’t trying to be insensitive or callous when we told you that we had to go, we were only doing our best to care for him and keep him alive.

To the parents of the two year old that died in the fire:
I have mixed emotions for you. I am terribly sorry for your loss. I am also terribly sorry that you left several children under the age of eight to play alone while you got high at the house next door. We found your baby curled in a ball underneath a pile of clothes, badly burned but not so bad that I couldn’t count every little finger and toe. I rage at your irresponsibility, but grieve for your loss.

To the man whose wife I did CPR on:
I wish that things had turned out differently. You were married for 70 years to a beautiful bride that I couldn’t bring back for you. There is nothing I can say in the face of that loss, but I hope you know I tried.

To the scared parents of the 3 year old with a fever:
I understand your fear. If I’m grumpy, it’s not directed at you. It’s because I’ve been at work 21 hours, haven’t slept and have missed 2 out of 3 meals, and right before I came to get your child I ran one of the calls above this one.

To the frequent flier:
Please take the time to educate yourself about the health problems that you have. Ultimately you are responsible for your own health, and if you don’t step up and follow your doctors recommendations, and manage your issues, they will kill you. And I will have gotten to know you to the point of having memorized your medical history, allergies, medications, name, date of birth, and half of your social security number, only to walk in and pronounce you dead.

To the grumpy ER nurse at the level 1 trauma center:
I am sorry that you are having a bad day. Please don’t take it out on me or belittle the work that I have done, in many cases in an attempt to make your job easier and faster. I only ask for 5 minutes of your time to give report and provide good continuity of care. I try my best to come in with a smile, please don’t try to eat me. Kindness costs you nothing.

To the general public:
Please, please pull to the right. If we are sitting down to eat a meal, don’t make snide remarks about how you are seeing “your taxes go to work” or how we are paid too much. There is no price tag on what we do, and 40-50% of us do it for free. And most importantly of all, don’t ask the question mentioned in the second paragraph. If you want to satisfy your morbid curiosity, come ride with us for a day, and see for yourself.

Many times we are referred to as callous, insensitive, uncaring, etc. We have developed these things as a facade. It is a coping mechanism. If we didn’t care, we would not be here. The everyday world is an ugly place, and death comes for all of us. I wish I could say it was always peaceful, but very rarely does anyone get to hear another “I love you” before someone takes their last breath.

There have been many times when I pull up in front of my house in the morning, wishing that things had gone differently. I feel like a sponge for others grief, pain, and sorrow. You soak it up in an attempt to make it better in some small, meaningful way. After that you go home and hold those who mean something to you a little closer.

The times when things do go right are like bright, shining stars in a moonless sky. Where we stabilized that guy from the car crash who had 18 broken bones and a crushed airway. Or when we brought back a 53 day old baby’s heart beat. There’s not a price tag on that feeling either.

I hope all of you stay safe and healthy. When you don’t, we will be there. Any time, any place, no matter what. We’ll be there.

At your service always,
A paramedic.

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-  By Andy Casteel, Emt-p, roane county, Tn (via ff8ems56)

(Source: westbound8952, via thegreenwolf)

Coastal wolves a whole different animal, study finds

thegreenwolf:

agentotter:

Elders of the Heiltsuk First Nation along the B.C. central coast have long recognized the difference between coastal and inland grey wolves in their territory.

Now, new scientific evidence helps prove it.

A study by Victoria-based researchers, published today in the open-access journal BMC Ecology, affirms genetic, ecological and behavioural differences between coastal and mainland wolves living in close proximity to each other.

Read More

OH GOSH YOU GUYS THIS IS SO NEAT. THIS IS LIKE EXTRA SUPER DOUBLE NEAT. These coastal wolves have adapted to their specific environment and instead of like elk and mountain goats they eat fuckin MUSSELS AND SEALS AND FUCKIN BARNACLES OKAY.

Darimont said the research shows how ecological development might drive genetic differences and would have significant conservation implications if the wolves are recognized as marine mammals, similar to polar bears.

Paul Paquet, a senior Raincoast scientist and supervisor of the study, said: “It is imperative that responsible government agencies now recognize coastal wolves are unique and take the opportunity to design management plans that reflect the uniqueness, rather than defaulting to simplistic policies that are convenient but inappropriate from a conservation perspective.”

Also, you can learn a lot here about the sad and frankly laughable way that scientists often dismiss the contributions of incredibly knowledgeable local and indigenous people. The scientist is just like “oh yeah this Heiltsuk elder told me about this way back and I totally brushed it off.” And now a DECADE later it’s in the news because he’s researched it. Come on man step up your game.

This is still TOO COOL though I’m totally excited, WOLVES HOW DO THEY WORK. (Here’s the actual research paper that explains how they work, in case you wanna look at some charts and things.)

YES. More research on wildlife diversity and WHY WE NEED TO PRESERVE IT PLEASE.

(Source: thewinterotter)

ref

Anonymous asked:

I did not realise you're pro zoo. May I ask why? Don't you think it's very unethical to keep cats (or any animals) locked up in cages, no matter how big, only for our own profit and enjoyment? Don't they deserve a life in freedom? I'm not trying to be rude and I know little of conservation and such so if it's anything like that just explain it. But I was a little disappointed when I realised.

Taiga the Coywolf Answer:

bigcatawareness:

I’d love first to direct you to these links first: 

First link is written by myself, and the second is a fantastic writeup by another tumblr user.  

But for a shorter version here, yes I think it’s unethical to keep any of these animals locked up in cages.  But the thing is, in good zoos, they aren’t in cages.  We call them enclosures for more than sounding nice.  

San Diego Zoo Safari Park(My photos)

Naples Zoo

Zurich Zoo(This is all one elephant enclosure)

Good zoos have evolved beyond keeping animals behind bars or in “cages.”  Good zoos can provide incredibly enriching lives to the animals in their care, animals that for the large part were all born in captivity and have no potential for a valuable life in the wild.  They give the care that allows these animals to thrive(do some animals not thrive in captivity? of course.  Am I against keeping animals that cannot thrive?  Of course).  These animals are completely dependent on their keepers, there isn’t some mythical “wild” they could go to that they would survive in.  Release any of these captive born animals and they will die.

As for conservation, I have a few examples and articles of that here.  Zoos participate in conservation and education programs all around the world, as well as in their local communities.  They have been responsible for bringing multiple species back from extinction, and will be responsible for more in the future.  Zoos are one of the entities on the front lines in the fight against extinction.  These animals aren’t just “locked up” for our own profit and enjoyment.  Of the 229 zoos and aquariums accredited by the AZA, 54% are nonprofit.   The money they make is for the animals, rather than from the animals.  They use the funds to take care of their animals and facility, and they use even more to fund conservation efforts.  

This is why I am pro zoo, because I truly believe from what I have seen and experienced myself in my involvement with two zoos so far, that they contribute immensely to the public’s awareness of the conservation issues worldwide, as well as their knowledge of various species and habitats.  

thegreenwolf said: Thing about pedestals is there’s not a whole lot of room up there, either. Notice how the dichotomy is either “they do no wrong” or “they did one thing wrong, therefore they’re all wrong”.

And that is such an unfortunate way to think! Mistakes happen! What is that saying…”To err is human”? That sounds right. Everyone is different! We can’t expect someone to be perfect all the time. That’s why I dislike those magazines that talk about celebrities. Celebrities are always in the public’s eye, for better or for worse! They say one bad thing within ear shot of someone and then they instantly become the most terrible person ever. That pedestal crumbles easily. 

reply lupa thegreenwolf