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Giving Thanks for Behind-the-Scene Skills

We are always aware of being thankful for first responders, especially our EMS cohorts. This year, after working with Ross/West View EMS, we learned of some not-so-obvious reasons to be thankful for them, too. Many first responders take on roles that you don't see every day, but which inform their skills and care. Sure, we recognize the blue uniform, but did you know your first responder is also:

A careful driver/ auto body mechanic

When the Pocket Nurse® Marketing Team decided to create an ambulance display for company trade shows, we realized we needed to take our own photos in order to give the backdrop a realistic appearance. Since none of us regularly drive an ambulance to work, Ross West/View EMS division was kind enough to let us stage a photoshoot with one of their own vehicles (pictured above). They even washed it for us! Operating an emergency vehicle is more challenging than driving a regular sedan, which means we’re thankful our first responders are more than just medics. The day of the photoshoot, we learned that our first responders are also part-model, part-mechanic, and part-cautious driver.

A supermom/ parent

Technically speaking, EMS shifts can run up to 24 hours long, with up to 48 hours off in-between. Real talk though: parents and family caregivers get no days off. We learned that Jen Swab is Training Coordinator at Ross/West View and full-time supermom -- to quadruplets. TEENAGE QUADRUPLETS (and one 20-year-old)! This year, Jen taught us that heroes wear blue uniforms and drive mini-vans. They say it takes a Man of Steel to fight the battle for truth and justice, but we think battling algebra homework after a full day of saving lives is truly the definition of a superpower.

A makeup artist

Dan Jankowski probably doesn’t fit your mental image of what a makeup artist looks like, but then again, moulage isn’t your typical kind of makeup, either. I never thought a paramedic would teach me something new about cosmetics, but when Ross/West View invited Pocket Nurse to be a part of North Hills High School’s 2018 Mock Crash, Dan showed me how to paint the perfect shade of bruise. We’re thankful our first responders have the ability to bring moulage to life. And while Dan might be better at making a blemish bigger rather than covering it up, I can still vouch that he knows his way around a set of brushes.

Partnering with Ross West View EMS taught us that first responders aren’t just working at the scene of an accident. They’re behind the scenes wearing many hats, too. And while some may see just the medic in the blue shirt, we know our first responders are so much more than their uniform; they are helpers, parents, teachers, and friends.

A precision team of professionals

Our experience with Ross/West View EMS has always been for simulation and training exercises. These simulated scenarios are vitally important for first responders. That education was recently seen in action when there was a mass shooting in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. According to Jen Swab, “Our EMS was heavily involved in the incident, with about 10 personnel on scene.” Other personnel staffed the Ross/West View EMS station to ensure any emergencies in the district were covered.

“It was an incredible witness of the teamwork that is required of first responders on any given day, and any given incident,” Jen said.

To all the staff at Ross/West View EMS and to first responders everywhere: thank you for your service. On behalf of all of Pocket Nurse: Happy Thanksgiving from our hearts to yours.

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