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Lights for Life, Sirens for Suffering

When we are trained as first responders, it is impossible to be ready for everything we may be faced with. Commonly, a lot of it is covered by book learning, but the worst is not. How can anyone prepare you for some of the sights and pain you will experience? Each call is different, and the more years you serve, the more chances you will eventually be faced with hard-to-recover-from events.

Balancing the good, bad, and ugly is sometimes difficult. We have a plan for many situations; however, there are those that are hard to believe even for seasoned but caring humans. These are the unforgettable events that some do not feel comfortable to even talk about, ever. Or they feel like they can but no one really wants to hear about it.

Who can be prepared for arriving on the scene and it is their best friend, their mother, or their only son? Training can slip away and they can become a victim too. This book contains events and circumstances that can and do happen to us as first responders. However, it can and does happen to others too.

I have found that talking about it with others helps tremendously. If we do not reach out to others, how can we expect them to know how or when to help us? I have also found, for me, helping others in similar circumstances helps me to heal. Working together with the police, fire, and EMS is a must. We are brothers and sisters, which means, a family.

We are much more comfortable wearing the helper hat than the help-me hat. But first, we have to acknowledge, we are humans too.

Thank you, Jonathan Peters, PhD, who not only encouraged my writing but helped me put it all together into a book.

--Lee Jean Heller

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