Op-Ed: A love letter to the Shoreline Fire Department and Medics

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Shoreline Fire Medic One van
Photo by Steven H. Robinson
Shoreline resident G.M. Wiegand is a contributor to the Shoreline Area News

On Thursday, the 18th of May, I met members of the Shoreline Fire Department: the professionals who come to help when one calls 911.

I am 76 years old, severely hearing impaired, suffer from extreme Asthma and a number of other ailments, all associated with maturing (getting older).

I had been struggling with allergies (in response to pollen) and suddenly could not catch my breath, felt my heart race, had chills, felt dizzy, felt shaky, ran a temperature, in short: felt totally out of control.

I am not given to panic, but this was scary.

My daughter, also a Shoreline resident, after consulting with my Doctor, called 911.

And the Shoreline Fire Department came.

..with a Truck
...and several competent Professionals.

The individual in charge (whose name I do not remember) was courteous, competent, calm, reassuring and exuded a sense of being able to handle the situation, that allowed me to turn things over to him, and concentrate on not falling apart.

In addition to all that, he truly paid attention to the fact that I am hearing impaired.

I lipread to understand what is said to me. It is essential that I be able to see the lips of the individual talking to me. If I do not see them, I get a sense of being isolated, and have no idea about what is going on: in a situation like this, it is truly frightening. 

The Fire Fighter who took care of me maintained eye contact with me, kept his face turned to me and made sure that I understood what he said and what was going on.

After a while, a Shoreline Fire Medic van arrived, staffed by similarly competent, confidence-infusing Medics. They loaded me up and transported me to the hospital: driving quickly and gently (no two-wheeled maneuvers), again exuding a sense of competence and calm that allowed me to concentrate on staying calm.

The two of them stayed with me until I was checked into the emergency room.

As it turned out, it was appropriate that I checked into the Hospital: I stayed for 4 days.

I am home now, recovering, and thinking about the whole experience.

I felt the need to express my gratitude and appreciation to the Shoreline Fire Department: Not only are your Personnel chosen carefully and appropriately, but they are trained remarkably well.

Thank You.


Trina M.,  May 31, 2017 at 3:19 PM  

Shoreline Fire 911 response teams ROCK! So many of us have had similar experiences. They have helped my family twice, but I never thought to comment publicly like you did, and for that I am sorry. Thank you for saying it so beautifully. And thank you, firefighters and medics, for your fantastic work.

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