Tim was working for the company when I started. As tall as me and twice as broad, he was a strong EMT — a good lifter, quiet sense of humor, hard worker, gentle with patients. And if he was standing behind you, no one would think of causing trouble. One night fifteen years ago, he came in off-duty and turned his uniforms in. Laid them on the supervisor’s desk. Said he’d had enough. He left without another word. That was the last I saw of him.
Coming into work on Friday, walking into the cavernous ambulance garage that looks the same as it has for the last twenty-five years (except for different people checking out the ambulances or changing oxygen tanks) I didn’t need to close my eyes to see him. He was still there, walking with a limp from all the back pain, all the patients carried in the days when we did two man dead-lifts, walking away from the life that night, walking out into the darkness.
“What are you looking at?” an EMT friend said to me when she saw me standing there.
“Just thinking about the past,” I said.
Tim passed away on August 4 at age 64.