You might be an ARP if...

Just to refresh everyone's memory... my SAR team is the only team in the nation that is youth-based. We also do operational assistance for local law enforcement and fire agencies: rolling hose, changing air tanks, scene security, evidence searching, trainings, traffic direction, event medical... etc etc.

You might be an ARP if...
  1. You've had blisters in places you never thought possible.
  2. Sleep has become an option rather a necessity.
  3. You are happy to be woken up at 3 am by the screeching beeps of a pager
  4. Your boots age 10x faster than average.
  5. You've spent your Christmas night in a van babysitting a burnt-down house.
  6. You've played a terrorist/hostage/bank robber/rioter for the SWAT team, essentially playing paintball with them.
  7. Lacking a window punch, you've gained access to an MVA victim using an avalanche shovel.
  8. You've directed traffic before you could legally drive.
  9. You've gone for two hour hikes at 3 am... sometimes to look for a missing person, sometimes just for fun.
  10. It seems like every year your dividend at REI gets larger.
  11. You consider yourself an energy bar/gel/powder connoisseur because you've tried just about every brand and flavor.
  12. Your tan isn't really a tan... it's just a thick layer of dirt.
  13. Free food motivates you do things you otherwise wouldn't.
  14. When hanging out with a group of friends you are comforted by the fact that you are usually accompanied by some combination of SAR personnel, EMTs, swiftwater rescue techs, rock rescue techs, cops, firefighters, Hazmat techs, avalanche rescue techs, paramedics, doctors, nurses, etc...
  15. Most people your age play video games and get drunk for fun. You save lives.
  16. You know not to volunteer for a dog team or to carry the rock bags unless you want to work your ass off.
  17. You could live out of your pack for months. You could live out of your car indefinitely, and indeed you've lived out of each for some amount of time on multiple occasions.
  18. You know which members to avoid sleeping near because they snore, sleepwalk or talk in their sleep.
  19. You've forgotten what home looks like.
  20. You prefer to light your campfires with road flares.

This post is a part of Normal Sinus Rhythm, a collaborative writing project in which awesome EMS bloggers from all over the country share their experiences/misadventures/whatnot.


Epijunky said...

Great post!!!

God I miss REI. I have a great pair of boots from there that have aged better than I have.

Rogue Medic said...

It is interesting to read things from the SAR perspective.

You're as messed up as the rest of us. :-)

Fyremandoug said...

I started out in SAR in N.W. MT and I miss it, my Wife and I were in it for 14 years and I claim it was the start to my downward spiral,as a professional volunteer. Your writing rocks ...I will have to pop in here more often