The anxiety which accompanies a friend or loved one having a medical emergency is unrivalled. We become overwhelmed with fear, freeze up and go into a state of panic. However, there are people who are calm, collected and take control of situations like this. They are unsung heroes deserving praise and thanks.
Men and women who put their lives on the line to save others, sacrificing sleep, life and their families to ensure your loved ones come first.
TRIVS Emergency Services is one such private ambulance service made up of real-life heroes. The Newcastillian speaks to three paramedics to learn more about the heroes who wear jumpsuits.
What is the one case that really stands out for you, where you felt like a hero?
“Firstly, one of my worst cases took place in Bergville, when I was still working for the government. Children were playing near a veld fire and two of the children were accidentally bumped into the flames,” says Siyabonga Malinga.
The three-year-old and four-year-old children were engulfed in flames. “I managed to stabilise them on the scene and myself and other paramedics rushed with them to the hospital, but they died shortly afterwards.”
With this dreadful experience gnawing away at him, Siyabonga explains the situation saw him striving to ensure he always did his best to save a life. “Then, while I was working in Volkrust, we had a patient who had pesticide poisoning. He was going down, we all saw it, but I managed to bring him back and he survived. This is one of those cases that really stands out for me,” he emphasises.
Xolani Mdlalose who has been a paramedic for eight years, says the one case that stands out for him occurred in the Free State. “We were transferring a man who was critically injured and unresponsive. With a patient who is unresponsive, a paramedic must monitor the patient the entire way. Which I did that day, with a 300km trip ahead of us.”
During the trip, the patient went into cardiac arrest. “He was dead at one stage and my team and I managed to resuscitate him. Reviving someone and saving their life is something you can hold as a crown,” Xolani says.
Myra van der Merwe who has been a paramedic for 11 years, says it is difficult to pinpoint one case for her. “Every day is different and while it’s not easy to say which case really stands out, for me, it’s a great feeling to stabilise a patient and have their family members stop you in town and thank you,” she says.
Furthermore, Myra explains there are days which are so busy that it is almost overwhelming for paramedics. “At the end of your shift, you sit there and think, I did it. I helped save someone’s life.”
What drives a paramedic to do what they do on a daily basis? Why are they so determined to save lives?
Siyabonga, Myra and Xolani are unanimous in their answer. What drives them is passion. A passion for their work, a passion for people and a burning desire to help those in need.
Yet, as they dedicate so much of their time to saving lives, do they see themselves as heroes?
“Personally, I see myself as a hero some days,” Siyabonga laughs.
Myra laughs and explains that being a hero doesn’t always cross her mind. “It takes a special person to do what we do. There are days, where we do not feel like heroes at all. There are days, where you feel that you aren’t going to make it, but then there are the cases that make everything worth it. The cases which make it extraordinary.”
Xolani says paramedics are definitely heroes. “We don’t always get compliments or recognition. But we risk our lives to get to a scene on time. We don’t do this for fun. We do this to save lives. This is not a profession we chose as the last resort. It is a calling,” Xolani concludes.
Reaching out to save the lives of the injured and sick, often without any thanks, paramedics are true heroes that no comic book character can dare compete with.
From all of us at Pixelfish Marketing, thank you to all the paramedics who do their best to save lives.