While on the treadmill at the gym this weekend (#SundayRunday) I noticed those anxiety-inducing red flashing lights approaching the parking lot. As the ambulance pulled up to the door, I joined the rest of the sweaty folk looking around to see what was going on.
The duo of paramedics carried their bags and walked past the front desk to a back room. They walked with intention, but they were walking, not running. A woman beside me commented sarcastically to her friend, “geez, don’t hurry or anything.” Her friend laughed and they both rolled their eyes.
Walk, don’t run.
What they failed to realize, is that the paramedics were walking because that’s what they’re trained to do. Nurses, police officers, firefighters and paramedics are all taught that it is more important to stay focused and safe than it is to rush to the scene. They know all too well that when we rush, we fail to factor in the crucial details required to do the job.
As paramedics are leaving the station, they review the information relayed from the 911 call. On the way there, they take the quickest but safest route. When they arrive, they ensure they get into the building safely, often relying on other essential services to clear the area of hazards or danger. Every move they make is calculated for efficiency and safety. Why? Because if a paramedic breaks her ankle before getting to you, she won’t be much help.
Monday Morning Fires
Fast forward to this morning and I’m pulling into the parking lot at work. (I’m sure I’m not alone in my Monday morning rush.) By the time I’m scanning my card to enter the building, I’m already thinking about what needs to be accomplished and what “fires” I might need to put out. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve fallen UP the stairs, in a rush to get to the next thing on my task list.
But if firefighters don’t run into a building, why do I feel I should? As important as I like to believe I am, my job is not as urgent as putting out actual fires. Wouldn’t my time be better used focusing on working as efficiently as possible?
It’s not always selfish to put yourself first. We could all benefit from taking better care of ourselves so we can be of better service to our employees and colleagues.
(And don’t worry, the girl who required medical attention at the gym was just fine)