This has been one very strange weekend. On Friday night I put on my Clayton EMS uniform for the last time. I had an awesome partner, one who many other members didn't want to work with. Not because he was a bad EMT. He is an excellent EMT. He and I have a similar personality the tell it to you straight kind and folks like us don't always gel well with others. At any rate, over the last 6 years some of my best shifts were with him. We've run some pretty messed up stuff and a lot of routine stuff. I always knew that I could count on him to give me all the info I would need and that I would never have to ask him for anything. Qualities in a partner that are hard to come by these days.
When our shift was over it all hit me in waves. He's not going to the bigger agency and so we may never see each other again. I gave him a hug and he got in his car and drove away for the last time. That's when the gravity of it all hit me. My family that I've grown to love and care about is going their separate ways. Many of us are in deed going to the big county agency but not all. I loaded up my car for the last time, walked out the door for the last time and drove home no longer a part of Clayton Area EMS.
On Sunday I was back to work at the same station I had been Friday night. As I put on my new uniform I didn't really feel any different. As I pulled up to the station it hit me that the building may still say Clayton Area EMS but the shirts say Big County EMS. Every bit of personalization that had lined the halls of the station were gone. The women's bedroom had new beds and the one that I used to claim was gone. As I pulled into the parking lot, there were several county supervisor vehicles in the parking lot. Things just got more strange when I saw my old supervisor, now Division Chief, in the office almost like old times. I found myself very reminiscent of when I first got hired. There were a few new faces which made me feel really weird and then I saw some friendly faces. One of those was a guy, now county supervisor, that I haven't seen in at least 2 years. It felt like old times sitting outside talking but at the same time it was just so weird. I never thought I'd see him within the walls of the station again.
I feel very fortunate to still have a job and I look forward to meeting new people but I find myself feeling very homesick. Just writing this I am tearing up. What I have grown to know and love is now very different. Some of the changes I think are for the better and so we'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.
When one chapter ends, another one begins. I want to thank all the members of Clayton Area EMS for everything. You guys will never know what you mean to me and I think we've worked enough together that you know I don't show emotions well. I have grown to love you guys like family and I will be here to help you in any way I can no matter what. We may not have always seen eye to eye or even liked each other very much, but we are a part of a family and family sticks together. I thank each of you for friendship, advice and growth. I can't possibly name everyone and what it was that they did to change me and help me grow but each of you has had an impact on me that I just can't put into words. I never thought I'd get so fortunate to become a part of a great squad and I thank those who welcomed me and helped me over the years. So now I can finally say goodbye Clayton EMS. I will cherish the memories and the friendships that I've made for years to come.