Continue or Not Continue? That is the Question.

Hell all. I hope life is treating you well. Yes….it has been quite a while since I have posted on here. School has taken up so much of my time that I do not know which way is up anymore. Sad thing is I am almost half way through to a degree in nursing. So much to do and so little time (sigh).

So, I have been thinking a lot about my Racing the Reaper Series, and I am trying to decide if I should add another book to the series. When I first signed with my publisher, the contract was four a three book series, but we added another to it. I love writing about Jacob Myers, but I do not want the content to become boring or predictable.

My question is do you think I should add another book to the series? Book four, Revenge of the Reaper, was my best book yet, I think anyway. For those of you that have read it, do you think I can top that one? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Jerrid Edgington
Paramedic & Author

Happy Holidays!!!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas as much as I did. Somehow, I ended up have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off. That hasn’t happened to me in over five years. I always seem to work on Christmas Day at least.

My daughter, who is three, had a wonderful day. Santa Claus was VERY good to her this year. It gives my heart such enjoyment seeing the excitement stretch across her face when she sees what present she received. And let me tell you, she played so hard all day with all of her toys that she crawled up in my lap and was snoring within two minutes. It is the simple things in life that keep us going.

Work has been insanely busy lately. We are running A LOT of 911 calls lately. And being a shift supervisor makes it that much more difficult at times. I am currently on break from school and start back on January 9th. I have been getting the itch to write and I really want to scratch it, but writing a book is a full-time job in itself. There will come a point when I have more time that I can do it. I have so many more novels planned that I want to write…wait….need to write.

I competed in my first Jiu-Jitsu tournament a few weeks ago. I won a silver medal (2nd place) in my division and a gold medal (1st place) in the absolute division. Not too shabby for my first tournament. I plan on competing again in June 2017.

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays and stay safe. Merry Christmas and a happy new year!!!!

Jerrid Edgington
Paramedic & Author

Something To Think About

When I am on duty and the tones echo over the speakers in our station, I begin to mentally prepare for what the emergency has in store for me. Are all calls life or death? No. In fact, a small percentage of them are, but regardless, what a patient sees as an emergency in their eyes is treated as such by me. We are not all trained medical professionals, I say.

I sat in the station working on some homework for my anatomy class during some much-needed downtime when the tones dropped for our unit. The call…cardiac arrest of a woman. Immediately I know time is not on our side. How long was she down for? Did someone witness her going into cardiac arrest? And more importantly, did the bystanders perform CPR? With precious moments ticking away, my partner and I jumped into our unit, and sped toward the scene.

First responders arrived on scene just before us and had initiated CPR. I do not know where we would be without their help. Sometimes I feel they are very unappreciated. I on the other hand whole heartedly appreciate them. These are men and women in the community that drop what they are doing, leave their paying jobs or families to come and assist us. And yes, they volunteer, so this means they do it for free. That shows so much dedication in my opinion and a true love for helping those in need.

Despite all of our efforts, we are unable to resuscitate the woman. Her heart had suffered too much damage. As the family speaks to law enforcement to make arrangements for their loved one to be taken to a funeral home, we were assembling all of our gear, making sure we were response ready for the next emergency. Once our equipment was safely stowed away in our unit, my partner and I left the scene. Here is the part that I do not think most people give a second thought to. As we are driving down the road and heading back to our station, there are loved ones that are shocked, hurt, and having to deal with the loss of their family member. As responders, I think we sometimes forget that part. Someone’s family member had just passed away. They are hurting. While we are surrounded by sick, injured, and even people who die, and I hate to say this, but I think we sometimes become numb to those emotions. I believe that it may be a safety mechanism for us to have the capability of handling the things we see day in and day out. Once the call ends, our minds go into auto pilot, and we move onto the next call. But I believe we leave a little piece of us on every call. Call this jaded if you want, but I can’t help but to wonder if when that person who just passed away, when they crawled out of bed, thought this was a good day to die? And that is why I try to live every moment of my life as if it were going to be the last because we don’t know the answer to that question. There is only one person who does and that is God.

I have said this often in the past, but here it goes again. Make sure the people who you love know that each and every day. You do not know if it will be the last time you see them. This may be rambling, but I felt the need to write about it.

God Bless,

Jerrid Edgington
Paramedic & Author

 

It has been way too long….

When I decided to go back to school, I knew it would create a problem with writing books. I have to spend so much of my time studying, which does not allow me the time that is required to write a book. Lately, I have been fighting the urge to write. My current class load takes priority, and whatever time I have left, I try to spend with my family. So, I cannot ignore the urge any longer. I plan on writing a scene for a book I have in the works and posting on here. It won’t be a full length novel, but it will give you all a little taste of what I have in the works. I hope life is treating you all very well. I should have the scene posted in a week or so.

Jerrid Edgington
Author and Paramedic

Greetings To All of My Readers

Hello all. My goodness it has been quite a while since I have written on my blog. Time flies by in the blink of an eye. My first semester of college is in the books. I am proud to say that I finished with straight A’s in all six of my classes. I have a way to go yet, but I am off on the right foot. I have learned that you are never too old to go back to school and that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

I had a great English Comp instructor, she was tough, but I found out how much I dislike academic writing. I much prefer writing fiction. With that being said, I will get back to writing as time allows. I miss it very much. Jacob keeps talking to me about how he wants to continue his adventures in the Reaper Series for you all. As I have said before, I do not want my books to become boring and predictable. As long as I can come up with a strong storyline, I will continue the series. If not, I have another great series planned.

I will eventually introduce you all to Flynn Bowen. He is a former paramedic turned RN. With all that I have planned for that series, I will say that you will not be disappointed. He has a lot to say and share with you all. I am excited for the future in my writing career. I promise that I will work harder at keeping you all up to date on the progress to in my writing.

Jerrid Edgington
Paramedic, RN Student, & Writer

Responder Suicide

I recently wrote this paper for my college English Composition class and I thought I would share it with you all. I received an A on the paper. This is something that I think needs to be made more aware to people. It is a growing problem in the healthcare profession.

 

“Earlier Than Too Late: Stopping Stress and Suicide Among Emergency Personnel”

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and suicide is a growing problem in the United States among EMS (Emergency Medical Service Service) providers. In 2014 there were 58 documented suicides by Fire/EMS personnel, but sources tracking these statistics believe that is only a fraction of the actual suicides. The Chicago Fire Department reported seven suicides in 18 months from 2008-2009, and four in 5 months in 2010. A 2012 report from the Chicago FD’s IAFF Local 2 counted 41 suicides of active and retired members between 1990–2010 and concluded its members had a suicide risk 25 times that of the wider population.

Why do so many people who spend their lives helping others end up committing suicide? Many experts believe the horrors that responders see on a daily basis begin to take their toll. That coupled with the physical/psychological stresses, and also the problems that are caused at home by the demands of the job are all contributing factors. Lack of sleep, exercise, and poor nutrition have also been found to add to the problem.

PTSD puts many responders at a higher risk of suicide. Many experts have associated PTSD more commonly with members of the Armed Forces, or those who suffer from domestic violence, but why not to responders? Take the 9/11 responders for instance. That tragic day ended many innocent lives, but it also had long lasting effects to the various responders that survived the attack. Images of the carnage they witnessed are forever burnt into their minds. And with no way of coping with stressors of that incident, many have turned to unhealthy avenues deal with their emotions. Drugs, alcohol, and ultimately suicide for those who aren’t able to find respite.

What can be done to help those responders? There are several resources available to them, but the most popular would be CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management). There are mental health professionals that are specifically trained to help responders deal with their emotions. Many departments across the country require a CISM session after a critical incident. This can range from an informal group meeting to discuss their emotions to one on one counseling sessions. Emphasizing the importance of proper diet and exercise can also help alleviate the stressors of the job as well as a strong support system. Many people in the EMS field feel that no one truly understands what they are going through, and that leaves them feeling alone with no hope of resolve.

I have been a paramedic for nearly twenty years, and I have dealt with a wide range of emotions in my career. I have responded to thousands upon thousands of calls over the years. Some had a positive outcome, but others did not. Have I ever had bouts of depression or thoughts of suicide? Depression yes, but not suicide. I have spent my career trying to help others in their time of need, and each call has left a mark within me. I can be driving down the road, or walking through a store, and a smell or sound will trigger a memory from a call that I have responded to.

There are a wide variety of resources that are not utilized. I personally believe that responders do not ask for the help they need out of fear of being thought of as weak. We think we should be able to handle anything that is thrown our way. But what many responders fail to realize that is even though we are trained to be at the top of our game in the most stressful situations dealing with life and death we are still human beings. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when we need it, and I wish more responders would do it. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Jerrid Edgington
February 2016

 

Sorry It Has Been a While

How are y’all doing? Sorry I haven’t blogged much lately. I have been up to my ears with college courses. I am taking 16 credit hours this semester. What was I thinking? I have ten prerequisite classes I need for the paramedic to RN transition program I am going into. After 20 years on the ambulance, I decided it was time to further my education.

So far I’m doing pretty well. I received an A on my first Nutrition exam this week. I feel like this is my toughest class this semester. I am going to take a few classes this summer, so my fall semester will be easier. Just have to survive this semester first.

I will continue writing once I have completed school. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to continue the Reaper Series, or start my new set of books, the Flynn Bowen Series. I have plenty of time to make that decision.

Thank you all for reading my books. I am eternally grateful!

Jerrid Edgington
Paramedic & Author