Interesting thing happened yesterday. After 39 years in the EMS and Fire Rescue worlds I retired. What a mind blowing event. A crazy emotionally roller coaster of a day.
I knew this day was coming, but, WOW, what a jolt. A day of honors and "thank yous", cards and gifts, old stories and old friends, co-workers and managers. But a day of finality. Of turning off the pager. Putting up the "Out of Office" notice on my department e-mail account. Of taking the brass off the uniform shirt. Of gathering all those IDs, and special access code cards, and Blackberry.
Then making a nice, organized pile and walking into the Chief's office and placing it on his desk.
And as I moved my department picture from the senior staff wall to the retirement wall....I cried. No, not just a trickle of a tear from the corner of an eye. Oh, no. I really cried. One of those sobby, blubbering, nose running, throat tightening, I don't care who sees me, cries from somewhere deep inside. It was surreal.
So, why, you may ask, am I putting this out there for all to see? Because there are those of us out there that really do commit to a greater purpose. And they are not all old, crusty dudes and dudettes that are senior officers or part of administration. I see them (well..saw them) everyday that I went to work. In the brand new EMT, firefighter or paramedic. That spark in their eye. In the folks that decide to stay on the ambulance instead of moving over to a suppression unit. In the 10 or 15 year veteran that still inspires and motivates. Yes, and even in that old dude in the main office that spend their time shuffling paperwork and going to meetings.
It's time to pass the torch. To hand-off to the next generation the reins. And I do so with confidence and pride. Take us to the next level. Be tenacious, be dedicated, be proud.