Having become convinced of the absolute importance of ritual(s) to communicate points of passage and/or achievement, I composed the following today in commemoration of my paramedic Intern finishing his 20th and final shift which certifies and completes his basic training to act as a Los Angeles County Paramedic. I was mildly pleased to see just how much it affected all the men and women present who witnessed this small ceremony. In short, it is very satisfying to me to see how ritual(s) communicate, in a very weighty yet non-verbal manner, certain important milestones of our lives.
Paramedic Intern Joshua Hill,
Given that you’ve completed your internship in a competent fashion, I do hereby present you with this small token (a Leatherman Multi-tool) of our appreciation for your consistently professional attitude throughout the duration of your time here.
We hereby appreciate your timeliness when arriving at your assignment.
We hereby appreciate your consistent efforts to better yourself in this internship and have witnessed your diligent study and review of the paramedic curriculum.
We hereby appreciate your participation in station “life” while always recognizing your place as a guest.
We hereby appreciate your attention to the cleanliness of the ambulance and have witnessed you wiping down the rig many times at the close of the day.
We hereby appreciate your accepting responsibility for discovered deficiencies/re-stock issues even when these were not caused by you.
We hereby appreciate your efforts to reduce your “silhouette” in an effort to join the finest and most professional department in the United States and we congratulate you on your attaining that goal which certifies you to enter the LAFD Drill Tower in October.
We hereby appreciate your efforts throughout the entire duration of the paramedic program and heartily congratulate you on the completion of it.
Stand and receive your charge for the future: (he had to stand)
We hereby charge you to continue to be professional throughout the duration of your career, regardless of the circumstances, and to quickly recover if you “lose it”, which you will do, at times. In short, “Fall Forward”, recover, and move along smartly.
We hereby charge you to be smart but don’t get a big head.
We hereby charge you, in keeping with Retired Engineer David Braun’s mantra, to “Use all of your powers for good.”
We hereby charge you to keep your boots shined throughout the duration of your career.
Raise your right hand, place your index and middle finger on the your left bicep, tap three times and while holding it there, repeat after me: “I, Joshua Hill, understand that I am now part of the Blue Stripe Brotherhood and will use all my paramedic powers for the good of my fellow man.”
Thank you, Josh, for all your efforts.
Daniel D. Kush, FF/PM, FS100 David Brien, FF/PM, FS100