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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

No! You're Doing it Wrong!

Originally posted 7/28/2009, removed during a spate of paranoid content cleanup 5/26/2010, and now re-posted after some review and editing.

I apologize if this post offends, but it is how I feel right now. I get a little punchy after these calls.

First off, if you're going to end your life, you should realize how few will seriously have sympathy for you. They're not going to cry over your grave with a special leaning towards how wronged you were and how they wished they had done whatever differently. Or, if they do, you won't be around to know about it, so what's the point? This helps you how?

The mess you create, the pain, the baggage of closing out your story..... it is very selfish to unceremoniously dump your problems and obligations onto others by leaving them behind like that. I understand you have issues. I have had issues too. Issues I wouldn't seriously mind escaping from. But taking the final exit on purpose is seriously inconsiderate, to put it lightly, and that is the main way you will be remembered. Just so you know.

If you choose to pop a cap into your brain, it will make things much easier on your local emergency services if you do a little anatomical research first. Find out which part of the brain is important, and aim there. Aiming elsewhere usually will still do the trick, but on a much slower and more painful schedule. What could have been a tight, clean operation requiring only the intervention of law enforcement and ServiceMaster is then extended into a major operation which ties up an ambulance and its medics, a gaggle of firefighters to assist, and in some cases, even more firefighters to set up and monitor the LZ for the helicopter, not to mention the helicopter itself. All of these resources could have been better utilized to save the lives of those who want to still be alive.

Lastly, if you are ever dealt the agonizing hand of being present or arriving to find that someone else has taken the final exit, a final pointer to speed the response of help:

Our safety comes first. Until we know the scene is safe and that the person is not actively still trying to die and willing to kill anyone who attempts to prevent that attempt, we stay out and wait for law enforcement. We can act on our discretion if we get assurances from the dispatchers that the scene and the weapon are secured. It is not helpful to tell the dispatcher that someone has been shot and then hang up without providing all the details. It is not helpful to ignore the phone when the dispatcher calls back. Result: We wait up the road until our brothers in blue arrive. So, stay on the phone and answer all questions to get the fastest intervention.

A final rebuttal to myself: Actually.... doing it this way provides an excellent candidate for organ donation, leaving us a short-term viable patient so steps can be taken to save the lives of others. If that is your plan, I guess this is an example of doing it right. I sincerely and fervently hope that the person who inspired this post did not have any conditions that prevented this from happening. If it all works out, I guess we firefighters are OK with going through all that to save other lives, but the preferred alternative is to ask for and get help. Those resources are out there for the finding. It is better for all involved if you just stay with us.


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