Paramedic Fired After Encouraging Patient In Ambulance

Paramedic Fired After Encouraging Patient In Ambulance

Wally Emerson , a paramedic with the Hanover Ambulatory Service was removed from his position after an exchange with a patient en route to the Overland Medical Center. Emerson has a cheery disposition, which he ascribes to positive preachers. According to friends and coworkers he is always trying to lift up his fellowman. That’s exactly what he claims he was doing on the day he was let go.

“I get these emails with inspirational quotes every day. I like to share them with people who may need a little uplifting,” shares Wally. “On that particular day we were called to a construction site where a foreman had fallen onto a piece of reinforcement bar that ran right through his shoulder. He was in great pain but amazingly still conscious as we put him in the ambulance. I was trying to think about what I could say to make him feel better. We were probably 20 minutes out from the hospital when he asked me, ‘Where are we going and how long until we get there?’ I couldn’t tell him how far we were from help. Right then I just quoted the inspirational thought from that morning… ‘I think it is better to focus on the journey rather than the destination.’”

These were not the right words. Emerson knows that now. “Not all inspirational quotes are created equal. While the journey is important, the destination is ultimately most important… especially when you are in an ambulance.”

The construction foreman survived, and Wally is now working at the Vermont State Prison, on death row. "Maybe I can shine some light on the very short path of those in this place," Wally mused. "Just yesterday I was able to brighten an inmate's day with the thought, 'Death is not the end... it is the beginning."

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