Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Hero

Today's blog post deals with heroes. Specifically, one hero in particular.

What Makes a Hero? If I ask you to list some heroes in your heart, I bet you can think of many. There are many heroes near or distant from us. But if I ask you what is a "hero", what will you say? It's kind of hard to give a definition, isn't it? When I checked the dictionary, it says a hero is a person who distinguished by courage, noble deeds, outstanding achievements and so on. I won't say I disagree with that, but that definition misses something. To be a hero, you do need to be brave to make differences, but you also need a heart that is unselfish and full of love.

Heroes come in all genders, shapes, and sizes & although a hero may not consider themselves a hero, someone else may and that's the kicker! Heroes act without thinking, putting the needs of others before their own and usually don't consider those actions to be of a heroic nature feeling that's just how I do things or it's part of my job.

So, I want to tell you about someone who I, and a few others consider a hero. My hero's name is BethAnn Jablonski. Beth is a paramedic who sees tragedy day in and day out, responding to the worst EMS calls possible; Codes (no pulse, no breathing), drug overdoses, shootings, stabbings, trauma incidents, motor vehicle accidents & the like.

Like most public safety personnel, Beth likes to unwind and get past these horrible incidents of the human life cycle. Beth's "decompression chamber" is the casino. Specifically, the slot machines.

Last December, Beth was at Parx Casino with her son, unwinding and hoping for a hit on the slots when she heard a commotion and saw some people gathering in a circle. Beth told her son "I'll be right back" and ran over to the commotion. What Beth saw was a man lying on the casino floor, unconscious. She jumped right in, checking the man's vital signs. Finding none, Beth initiated life saving procedures by performing CPR & attaching an automated external defibrillator & shocking the gentleman's heart twice. The second shock restored the man's pulse. Beth continued working on this gentleman & monitoring his condition until the arrival of local paramedics who transported the man to the hospital where it was later learned that the man was in stable condition and would survive.

For these actions, Beth received my union's Heroism Award at our annual Recognition Day, today. Beth isn't one who seeks the spotlight or recognition for her work but her selfless actions on that day last December saved the life of an individual and extended his time on Mother Earth and I want to to thank her for what she did & give her the recognition that she deserves.

Well done Beth, well done! I am proud to know you and even prouder to call you my friend. You went over and above on that day last December and proved once again that those who work in Emergency Services are dedicated, selfless individuals who are on duty 24/7, no matter where they are & to us it it's a calling, and not just a job. 

For all the kudos you received, I feel the need to step it up by saying that if I ever need lifesaving care, I hope it's you that's coming to save me.

Although you shy away from the recognition that you so rightly deserve, stand tall today Beth and enjoy your moment in the sun!

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