Monday, September 26, 2005

Daring with your life

I saw a sign the other day. Actually, I see alot of signs alot of days, so many in fact that I'm constantly being reminded of that old Tesla song, you know, "Signs Signs, Everywhere there's signs, Blocking up the scenery, Breaking up my mind, Do this, don't do that Can't you read the sign". Blah blah blah... don't even get me started; that's a blog for another day.
This particular sign caused a simultanious feeling of amusement and concern for me. It was on the side of the street, and it simply read, "Dare to Be a Lifesaver!" along with some contact information on how to become an EMT. Now, I may be out of touch with the rest of the world, and certainly with the new generation, but way back in my younger years (oh, say, around 20 years ago... hey, I'm not THAT old!) we generally dared people to do things that we were quite sure they either wouldn't do, or couldn't do. When we said, "I DARE you to eat that worm!" It was usually because we didn't expect them to do it, at least not with any amount of ease. We sure as hell WANTED them to do it, just because it was gross and not something you see every day, but if it was known that this person generally went around all day sucking up worms just for fun well, there'd be no real sense in daring him to do it, would there?
Now back to my sign. Assuming the rules of "The Dare" still apply, am I to understand that they're trying to recruit people to become Emergency Medical Technicians who they don't think could do it with any real amount of skill or expertise? I'm sorry, but if I'm having a heart attack, I want to be sure the person sent to revive me is fairly confident in his abilities to do so, and is not there solely on a 'dare' or because someone bet he couldn't do it. I mean, if they're ever called in to an accident, I hope they're not told, "We DARE you to perform an emergency tracheotomy on that crash victim! GO! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!, Awww ewww he did it!!! gross!! I owe you ten." I could almost understand if the sign dared you to be, say, a fireman, there is a certain amount of bravery and even insanity needed to run into a burning building, and even though lives are still on the line, chances are if you run into said building on a dare without any real training, you're only hurting yourself.
I find it funny yet terrifying how the most mundane jobs in the help wanted section require 30 years of experience or a 12-year college degree in so-and-so to bag, but apparently all you need to become an EMT is a large ego.


Steve said...

Maybe the implications are that becoming an EMT packs the same sense of fun and excitement as eating a worm?

Paul G. said...

Hmmm.. a valid point. I could easily see the similarity between the exhilerating feeling one gets as he picks out the perfect bloodsucker and swallows the slippery critter whole, squirming all the way down the esophagus and into the pit of his stomach, and rushing to perform the Heimlick Manuever on a college fratboy who, on a dare, attempted to swallow a worm whole and ended up almost choking to death...