Personal Narrative: A Career As A Paramedic And Firefighter

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I have been employed during much of the last decade as a Paramedic and Firefighter. There is a vast body of knowledge, ranging from clinical to social to kinesthetic that can be gained from both these professions. I earned allot of clinical knowledge, and clinical intuition, from my time as a Paramedic. However: the experience that provides inspiration and energy in my life occurred when I took a break from both. I had just finished two years of work in the country of Kuwait, a small Arab kingdom located on the Persian Gulf between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It is, as I am sure you can imagine, a different kind of work experience than traditional Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the continental United States. It was interesting, exciting, rewarding, and a bit of drain psychologically. During that time I started to plan a through-hike of the Appalachian Trail (the “AT”). A system of trails that runs 2,185 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Baxter Park, Maine. For the sake of brevity and clarity, my hike is presented in terms of the physical, mental, and spiritual lessons I learned. I had prepared myself with the…show more content…
Terrain taught lessons throughout the AT, the steepness and length of the climbs were made more severe by a lack of conditioning. At the outset the mountainous terrain of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee were brutal. The lessons of pacing and paying attention to the immediate task…to simply being present in the moment were reinforced here. This carried over into the importance taking it one day at a time- to covering distance as I was able to, rather than as I wanted to. The summer season was one of the most important classrooms, the heat and humidity instructed me in the importance of stoicism. Of any lesson I learned during my long walk, this is the most

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