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Does death bother you on the job?

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by emt1581, May 2, 2005.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    I've experienced a bunch of calls that were deaths (class 5 is what we call them here). I'm not sure if this is normal or not, maybe because it's not MY family member or friend, but it really doesn't make me tear up or have any emotions. I'm respectful and compassonate to the people at the scene due to their loss, but it really doesn't effect me on the inside. I just make sure no one tampers with the scene unless the cops are already there. Is this abnormal? Do you become emotional?


  2. minkling


    Nov 8, 2004
    West Michigan
    I have been on a few and I find that I have a similar reaction. There was one that bothered me because because the victim was youger than I was with no apparent cause of death.

  3. jlw_84

    jlw_84 General Glocker

    Nov 8, 2002
    Initally it bothered me, but now it doesn't affect me. I am still very sympathetic with the family.
  4. ClydeG19


    Oct 5, 2001
    I've seen two fatal MVA's so far and neither one has bothered me.
  5. nam02G

    nam02G First throwing ax bullseye.

    Feb 4, 2002
    Vancouver USA
    The only times it's ever bothered me was when it was kids. Adults dying, even after I've worked a code, has no affect on me. I've seen kids that have been run over by cars and burned up in airplane crashes. Those bothered me after the fact, but not as much as the SIDS babies. I went on about four of those calls within a few months of getting into the fire service. Very emotional events. One of the best moments of my life came when I arrived on a call reported as 'baby not breathing'. I walked in on a young couple tearfully, and ineffectively, trying to do CPR on their baby. As I took the baby away from the father to do CPR myself the baby let out the most satisfying scream you ever wanted to hear in your life.
  6. oldstyle

    oldstyle Jeep Pirate

    Jan 31, 2002
    Jacksonville, Fl
    Yeah, the SIDS are bad.
    But generally, the trauma calls are more likely to stick with me. We've had a high number of serious trauma calls lately involving children...
  7. Terminator


    Apr 27, 2002
    Theres always some certain run we'll all never forget, but in the end if weve done all we could do up to our training i can sleep knowing i did all i could.
  8. Tvov


    Sep 30, 2000
    Being FD without medical response, I haven't seen a whole lot but so far I've not had a problem. As others have said kids, and people if I know them, will affect me. I have never had a problem with "messy" scenes (parts and fluids scattered about). A friend of mine who is a body builder will faint if he sees blood, even from a finger stick. Go figure.
  9. Slinger646

    Slinger646 King of Sling

    Sep 5, 2004
    In the Mountains of VA
    It doesnt really 'bother' me but sometimes i will smell/hear somthing similar to somthing that happened on scene (the sound of dead weight hitting a roof, the smell of working a code) and it kinda freakes me out for a split second. We've had a few wash-out b/c they couldnt deal with it. To each his own...
  10. Glkster19


    May 12, 2001
    Lansing, MI
    Kids will bother me. I've worked codes on relatives before and only had 1 that really bothered me for a while. As far as the above post about smells, have you ever had a pt that was burned? Thats a smell you will not soon forget and it'll stay in your nose a while.
  11. AdminKY

    AdminKY Husband/Father

    Apr 23, 2005
    Woodford - KY
    Ofcourse they do, especially children. However, there is a time and place to deal with that (ie; CID). On scene, its strictly business.

    One that really hit me was several years ago. We were sitting in the truck at a hotdog joint.. dispatched to a small sports car vs semi truck. Arrived on scene to find a Mazda Miata had gone UNDER the trailer. Removed the windshield and part of the driver in the process. ;G
  12. Lone Hunter

    Lone Hunter

    Feb 12, 2001
    Not for the most part. I've been to about 20 fatal fires,pulled a few out myself.As far as EMS deaths maybe a couple hundred,shot,stabbed,hit by trains,cars,trucks,hung,you name it.

    In all maybe 2 stayed with me for any time.
  13. IDC


    Jun 21, 2004
    Kids still upset me but not as much as it once did,people tell me im burnt out because i don't let it get to me...maybe they are right
  14. DepChief

    DepChief Get Tous's Rope

    Nov 27, 2004
    Outer Banks, NC
    Does death bother you on the job?

    As long as its not mine, no.
  15. I believe that this reaction is a subconcious defense mechanism.
  16. LastFreeMan


    Jun 8, 2005
    Almost always bother me. Espeically the with children. It makes me think what I would be feeling if my little girl went through what the victim did.

    I guess though in a way.. it comes with the line of work, we took these jobs cause we care about people. It'd be inhuman not to care about any one them.
  17. rwojcik


    Jun 9, 2005
    I think after many years we get de-sensitized to situations not involving persons we know. Although we may never get "used" to it; we just have to accept it and do our job. Some of us always remember scenes that stand out because we don't normally vent about our trauma. We go through de-breifing after such calls but this isn't the place to conduct any kind of therapy. It does give us the chance to vent and learn from what had transpired but it isn't normally conclusive. Problem is; that most of us are in this profession because we care so just shrugging it off isn't an option. I have noticed that most of us are affected by children and I think that is because they have very little influence on what has happened. They are somewhat defenseless and are victims of bad situations or conditions. I don't beleive there are true "accidents" since somewhere down the line there is negligence at the root.
  18. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

    May 16, 2005
    Where the buffalo roam
    Have to agree about SIDS infants, but the one that still gets me is two siblings ( 11 months & 3 y.o.) drowned in a boating accident here in Southern Montana. First of all, kids that young have no business being in a 16' alum. with an o.b. Second, father cut down the transom with a sawzall to fit a short-shaft o.b. and wake came up over and swamped them when he off-throttled. Got one kid (core)that day (I'm local hosp-based EMS/S&R) and younger kid surfaced two weeks later. You want to feel sorry for these parents, but I'm still pissed. Criminal case is still pending and it's got town split in two. Innocent victims of a**hole parents.
  19. As I get older it bothers me a little more, but more for the families and friends. We just lost one to an aortic aneurysm - he was OK on the scene but crunked on the medics during transport. We'd all known this guy for years. His organization sponsored a memorial and a lot of us went. Everyone was very nice and complimented us on the level of care, but still a friend was gone - that made it harder.
  20. sprmedic69


    Jul 4, 2005
    SW Ohio
    I don't really care because I hate people.