Thursday, April 9, 2015

It's the little things.

I'm not much for "chasing ribbons" or going on high profile calls, just to show up and be seen, in order to get an accommodation. I also don't seek accolades for what I do from day to day. So, imagine my surprise when I was told by my Lieutenant that I was being put in for officer of the month for my district.

Now, let me start this off by saying, I've been involved in some sort of emergency services since 1995, when I signed up to volunteer at a volunteer fired department, about a year out of high school. I was trained as an EMT, and a Fire Fighter. I loved it. Riding the Ambo, and the engine, going on calls, doing the work. I was not one of the "cool kids" or the ones that had to be on the nozzle, I just wanted to do the work, and as cheesy as it seemed, I wanted to make a difference. And help people. 

You see, ol' Shamus was just a normal kid, a Boy Scout, taught to do my best, and serve. I really had a passion for service when I started out. 

Fast forward about 19 years, and here I am. A Police Corporal, assigned to patrol in the busiest district in the county. If you haven't read the earlier stuff on here, take a chance to read up. It tells a little of the struggle I've had. Long story short, I had been jaded for a while. I was starting to feel like I was just spinning wheels. 

Well, I was on an upswing on a personal level and my moral was improving during the summer of 2014. I was back after an injury (another story for another day) and was actually having some fun on the job again. 

August rolls around, and I was a "floater" car. We have more cops on the shift than posts. If someone who has a post takes off, a floater fills the spot. If there are extra cars (it's rare, but it happens) they work as umbrella cars, and pick up calls. 

One 3-11 shift, I am filling in a post I don't work often, and enjoying the change of scenery. The end of shift rolls around, and we get a call for shots fired. This type of call is not uncommon, and is usually someone playing with fireworks, or if it's in season, it's hunters in the area. Well, another officer and I go rolling towards this call, like its a routine shots fired, and then we get updated that a dude was just shot in the face, and a description was broadcast of the shooter. For reasons I'm sure you can figure out, I'm not going to go into too much detail here. But needless to say this call turns into a soup sandwich pretty quick. We get there, it's a hectic scene, it's me, one other patrol guy, and a plain clothes officer. Dude is in a bad way, we have family screaming for help, I glove up, find no pulse, and start chest compressions until the Ambo gets there.  We had a dozen witnesses, I'm calling for the chopper, crime lab, k-9, basically the world, and giving direction as to where the bad guy had run off to. Well based on info I gathered, and put on the air, we got the guy. Good ending. My supervisors were happy, I felt proud I did a good job.  We go home. 

Fast forward about three weeks. 

It's now September. A permanent post opens up, and I take it for some stability. I go back and forth. Sometimes I like to float, sometimes I like a perm post. 

This time I'm working 7-3 shift. It's about 1000 hrs and we get some cluster of a call where the caller doesn't know what's going on, but all we know is there is a dude hurtin pretty bad, and he somehow got himself stabbed. I'm the first car there, lady comes running out, screaming, and leads me into this small kitchen where a dude is laying on the floor, covered in blood. The whole scene is a mess, blood everywhere. I glove up, feel for a pulse, find a faint, thready pulse. I start chest compressions until the Ambo gets there. While doing compressions, I manage to get some info on the bad guy and the situation.  I turn the dude over to the medics, and start doing cop work. Long story short (again), I get the bad guy identified, get BOLOs out and we get him, and those involved. My supervisors are happy, I feel proud of a good job. We go home. 

Both these scenes were extremely chaotic, fast paced, and fluid. A lot of things going on all at once. I'm not saying that I'm perfect, and did everything right, but in both cases I was able to revert to my training and experience to get the job done, with somewhat happy results. Now, unfortunately, both victims died. There wasn't anything that would have changed that. But my platoon worked together as a team, and I had the support from my sergeant to do my job. 

Sometimes you get these calls that are pure shit. Absolute chaos. It's when the officer can rise above all that and do their job in spite of all that's going on, that makes them stand out. Well, apparently, I stood out, and I was awarded Officer of the Month for October 2014 for my district. 

I'm very proud of that accomplishment. It is the little things like that ribbon that reminds me that we are appreciated for the hard work we do out here. 

Now, I don't need a ribbon to feel good. Sometimes it's something small like seeing a kid smile when he walks over to you while you are eating dinner, and you give him a few minutes of your time. 

It's the little things. 

Be safe out there, and find the little things to keep you going. 

Officer of the Month ribbon.

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