Back In Class

☆ January 5, 2011


This is what 1200 pages looks like.
This is what I shall be absorbing – plus much more – over the next five months.
I’ve begun training to be an EMT!

This summer, I was approached with an offer to join the local EMS (Emergency Medical Services) crew come January.  I replied with a wholehearted ‘I’M IN!’ right then and there.

I do quite well under pressure ~ the San Francisco Red Cross actually offered me a job on the spot when the apartment building I was living in burned down – the director on site was like, “You sprinted out of a burning building in the middle of the night, you’re suddenly homeless, and yet you are calm, cool, collected and helping others?  Work for us!”

Volunteer EMTs are essential in rural areas such as mine.  It was an honor to be asked and I am so excited to learn these skills and to be of service.  Meanwhile, I’m going to try to keep up with regular postings on this blog but, for the next stretch of time, it may end up being more like twice-weekly posts instead of daily posts (not that it’s ever been daily around here…)  Thanks for understanding!


82 Responses to “Back In Class”

  1. Janine
    January 5th, 2011 @ 11:26 am

    My husband is a first responder and it is quite a commitment. What a difference you will make! Best of luck.

  2. michael
    January 5th, 2011 @ 11:28 am

    Oh, great! EMT training always comes in handy.

  3. hello haha narf
    January 5th, 2011 @ 11:29 am

    it takes a special person to give so much of their time and i just know you will be an amazing emt. so excited for this new adventure of yours.

  4. Lisa
    January 5th, 2011 @ 11:32 am

    Congrats! I had considered training as an EMT at one time, and now volunteer in ground search and rescue. It’s rewarding and challenging!

  5. Farmer Lady
    January 5th, 2011 @ 11:32 am

    Congrats on your new adventure! … and wouldn’t that be an interesting blog subject… how to become an EMT.
    Does Charlie howl with the sound of sirens? My farm dogs and the local coyotes around here all do.

  6. Stephanie
    January 5th, 2011 @ 11:35 am

    Very cool – I wish you good luck on this new adventure in your life! A couple of my friends are EMTs and they love their jobs despite the odd hours and stress. Plus it gives you a lifetime of cool stories to amaze your friends and family with. My area is also covered by volunteer EMTs and a volunteer Fire Department – without them we would be so screwed, but its the chance we take to live independent rural lives, so we are thankful for our caring volunteers!

  7. montanarose
    January 5th, 2011 @ 11:36 am

    Congratulations and good luck on your new adventure. We have survived two major wildfires up here in the Colorado mountains, thanks to our superb local VFDs. I can’t say enough about these fine folks, and now you’ll be one of them!

  8. Maggie
    January 5th, 2011 @ 11:46 am

    Amazing. Volunteer firefighters/EMTs helped save my life 3 years ago near my tiny hometown so I know how important they are! :)

  9. Beverly Murphy
    January 5th, 2011 @ 11:53 am

    Congratulations! i wish you much success

  10. Maryanne
    January 5th, 2011 @ 11:54 am

    Best of luck! You are certainly a natural for being calm in the face of stress.

  11. Karyn
    January 5th, 2011 @ 11:55 am

    I have a son who has just started his EMT training also. Such an important thing! Go Shreve!!

  12. Penny in CO
    January 5th, 2011 @ 11:58 am

    Living in the mountains in Colorado (montanarose where are you?) we have volunteer firefighters and EMT’s as well Two thirds of my lifeguard staff actually are EMTs in training (handy for lifeguards!) and they are firefighters. It is an arduous class but well worth it. Good on ya Shreve!!I am sure you will be the star of the class :)

  13. RIDivergirl
    January 5th, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

    Good for you!! That’s a great commitment to make to your community and quite an honor to be asked to serve. Congratulations and I’m sure you’ll do incredibly well in your studies and as an EMT. Of course, we’ll all understand – the blog is a gift from you to us – and if your time is limited, of course this should wait. I can’t imagine anyone not understanding that. Best of luck to you with your studies – I certainly have great faith in your abilities. :-)

  14. Suzanna
    January 5th, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

    One of my good friends is currently training to be an EMT! Just today she scheduled her required “ride-along” with our metro EMS. She’s very excited, but it has been quite a lot of work. I think she gets certified in April. Lots of tests and lots to remember. Very important job. After hearing her talk about all the studying, I know you will be quite busy. Good for you Shreve! You will definitely be a great EMT!

  15. Catherine Chandler
    January 5th, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

    That’s fantastic! My stepmom was an EMT outside of Boise for quite a while.

  16. Beermary
    January 5th, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

    In college at the age of 20 I was studying psychology and took an EMT class “just for fun”. The first time the lights/sirens came on during an observation shift on EMS, I was hooked! I went on to get my paramedic, then RN. Although I haven’t been on an ambulance since 1992, I’ll never forget my EMS days and everything I learned from the patients, families, and fellow emergency responders. It was one of the most difficult and rewarding things I’ve ever done. You’ll love it!

  17. Stefanie M.
    January 5th, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    Good for you, Shreve! I’m a Paramedic now so if you have any questions, just email. I’m sure you’ll get plenty of help where you are now, though. I hope that you enjoy it enough to advance into ALS (advanced life support). You’re a smart girl so you’ll have no problems, I’m sure.

  18. SiobhanM
    January 5th, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

    I think you’ll make an amazing EMT! Congratulations.

  19. Torchy
    January 5th, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

    The very cool thing about school is the poetic justice. You put in the time/effort, you get the A. Only place in the world where that happens. Courage!

  20. kerin rose
    January 5th, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

    Everyone in this neck of the woods is volunteer too, ( I am in Vermont).. I think most rural places are like that..and what on earth would we do without them? honorable, and wonderful for you… congrats on the new journey, Shreve!

  21. Teaspoon
    January 5th, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

    What a great endeavor — all the best as you pursue it!

  22. Kelly
    January 5th, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

    This is awesome news! You will make an awesome EMT for sure. Congrats Shreve ;-)

  23. LJ
    January 5th, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

    Very exciting and rewarding – best of Luck!

  24. Cin
    January 5th, 2011 @ 1:43 pm


    ..and here’s to hoping you DON’T have to use your skills often…

  25. regina ellis
    January 5th, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    I was a paramedic in Texas for many years and it’s a worthwhile and very satisfying job. I wish you every good luck in this endeavor. However, with your brains and work ethic you don’t need luck. I know you’ll do well. It feels really good to help other people.

  26. Chris
    January 5th, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

    A natural extension of your talents and accumulated experience. As others have said, I think you’ll find the training and classwork challenging, but far from insurmountable.

    Carry on, and write about it when you can. You’re a vital part of your community, and that (including taking care of yourself and the Farmily) should come first.

  27. Jo Davis
    January 5th, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    Good for you and the best of luck!!! my boyfriend and his dad are both on our local volunteer fire dept. as we live in a small town surrounded by more small towns…so everyone works together and we all help eachother!!!! :)

  28. Kato
    January 5th, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

    Best of luck in your new adventure. Being an EMT was one of the most rewarding things I ever did. And one of the few “jobs” I thoroughly enjoyed!

  29. Nina
    January 5th, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

    Good for you Shreve. My admiration for you continues to grow. You are an amazing lady.

  30. Mareike
    January 5th, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

    I love it! I know you’ll be great. Those 1200 pages may look daunting but you’ll absorb them the way you absorb everything.

  31. Dana P
    January 5th, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

    I volunteered with the fire/rescue in my hometown in Pennsylvania years ago and loved it. It was extremely exciting, touching, caring, emotional, and sometimes even heartbreaking. One I got to resussitate a dog that a friend of mine found in a house that was on fire. That was gratifing.

  32. catherine
    January 5th, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

    How inspiring. Around here our lives depend on MET’s. I am trying to convince a friend of mine to join as he needs something real, something true, something that makes you get and go. The need is great and as the states will be cutting more and more on services due to the budget deficit , it is good to have the training. Many people will be depending on it.
    I hope ,though, that it will not be cutting down on face time with Charlie and the farmily. I am selfish, I want my pictures everyday at breakfast time, it keeps my blood pressure down.

  33. pam
    January 5th, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

    I’m so excited to hear this news. Now you and I will be in the same field. I love ER, second only to my surgical work.

    I am sure you will be fantastic at it.
    btw..sent you another small package today.

  34. Evette
    January 5th, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

    Yet another reason (second only to your great way of organizing your taxes) that you are one of my favorite people on the planet. You inspire me! Good for you. :)

  35. Barbara R
    January 5th, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

    You keep raising the bar on awesome, Shreve. Way to be!

  36. Keitha
    January 5th, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

    Exciting News! We have VFDs where I live too. Most of their calls are medical as opposed to fire. You might be busy.

    Our book group read a great book by a guy in a VFD in Minnesota or somewhere. Can’t recall the name right now, but will let you know. It was all about his experiences. Good book.

  37. Kit.e
    January 5th, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

    Yay! I’m heading back into the world of university soon, I will expect a few blogs with study tips and study inspired musings!

  38. Alice
    January 5th, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

    Congrats on your next endeavor. I have several friends who are EMT’s & volunteer firefighters & they seem to really enjoy it. It takes a special person to be able to do that. On a side note, you have inspired me to find out where all my money is going. So I’m tracking it. I’m doing an excel spreadsheet & updating it daily vs. saving all my receipts. Also trying an online one to see which fits me better.

  39. Liza Lundell
    January 5th, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

    Congratulations, Shreve!

  40. Ticia
    January 5th, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

    That is great. Thank goodness for people like you who can be calm in an emergency! Enjoy the adventure!

  41. Patr
    January 5th, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

    Good for you!

  42. Deanna
    January 5th, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

    Wow. I have a hundred questions already. A few that spring right out are how big is the area that you will serve? Will you be on call certain times or all the time? One thing’s for sure; they are so fortunate to have you.

  43. shreve
    January 5th, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

    thanks everyone!

    Barbara R ~ OMG it’s only January but I have a feeling your comment is going to be my favorite compliment of the year! :)

  44. Steph in Oregon
    January 5th, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

    EMT’s are a rare breed. Not everyone can do this. I know you will do well, Shreve. The community is very fortunate to have you.

  45. Roxanne
    January 5th, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

    VERY cool! Good luck!

  46. LostCityDenise
    January 5th, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

    EMT? Awesome.

  47. Lesley
    January 5th, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

    This is yet another reason you are an awe-inspiring person.

  48. Mishka
    January 5th, 2011 @ 10:52 pm

    I have always secretly wanted to be an EMT…that is so cool that they asked you. Good luck with your reading!!!

  49. Lila
    January 5th, 2011 @ 10:58 pm

    If anyone can do it, you can! Even your animules will benefit from your new knowledge.

  50. Beth K
    January 6th, 2011 @ 12:59 am

    Congrats! I have several friends who are EMTs; it is a grueling training process, but their training has paid off in the weirdest times/ways, and I’m so thankful to have them in my life. :)

  51. Gem
    January 6th, 2011 @ 4:57 am

    I work for an ambulance service in the UK that utilises a similar kind of thing for rural areas. They’re called Community Responders and are volunteers that are armed with a defib and oxygen. They can’t act in the same capacity as a Paramedic or Technician as they don’t have the qualifications (and the service would have to pay them if they did!). But if there is an emergency call for chest pains/breathing difficulty/allergic reaction/cardiac arrest in their area then they are activated to it and can provide the all important life saving care whilst waiting 30 odd minutes for the ambulance. They really do make a difference and are used on a daily basis.

    Well done you! I know it’s something I’d never be able to do


  52. Laurie Blair
    January 6th, 2011 @ 9:08 am

    Wait — 30 minutes for an ambulance, Gem??? Holy smokes.

    Anyway! Good luck Shreve, that’s wonderful — my sister-in-law has been an EMT for 30 years or so, and a 911 dispatcher also. It takes a very special kind of person. At first the job was volunteer, now they pay I think $50 per “run.” She is scarcely 5 feet tall, but can lift heavy stretchers. She can also drive the ambulance.

    Emergency volunteers are the greatest people. Our fire department is still all volunteer. We have never voted against anything they’ve asked the town for.

    If you haven’t yet, you should read “Ambulance Girl” by Jane Stern. There was a Lifetime movie starring Kathy Bates, and you’d think Kathy Bates couldn’t do a bad movie, but it kinda is. The book is better. I think you’ll enjoy it.

    Best of luck.

  53. Marg
    January 6th, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    Bless you, I hope you never have to use your training. I also noticed that NOT ONE person whined about the fact that you might not post as often. Bless all of your readers too.

    (I’m secretly whining lol)

  54. Jenny C
    January 6th, 2011 @ 10:04 am

    Way to go, Shreve! All the best as you study and practice. You’ll do GREAT! What a rewarding and wonderful way to continue to deepen your relationship with your community.

    My son is a first responder (mountain search and rescue, climbing and ski accidents, avalanche recovery, etc.), and it took enormous effort, commitment and time to complete the course and continue training on an ongoing basis. His mountain home above Boulder was spared twice during this past summer’s stubborn fires due to outstanding efforts by firefighters and EMT’s. So… what goes around comes around, ya’ know? Your life will be even more enriched by this adventure. (To echo you: “is that even possible?”) :)

  55. Wendy
    January 6th, 2011 @ 10:29 am

    Shreve, I’ve been a paramedic for 29 years, and wouldn’t trade a second. You’ll love it. It sounds like you have the perfect demeanor, the perfect escape when it’s necessary, and it will be, and the perfect amount of enthusiasm! There’ll be GREAT times, not so great times, but you will be of service, and I can’t think of a finer way to live a life. Good on you, and great luck!

  56. Theresa Szpila
    January 6th, 2011 @ 11:37 am

    Congratulations!!! I think it’s wonderful you want to be an EMT. I know you will be great at this, and I know the people you help will really appreciate your efforts.

  57. Scotty
    January 6th, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

    wowz 1200. that’s a lot of pages. be sure to post pics of it all dog-eared, cat fur-balled and coffee stained later. then again, your inner dork will probably have tabs and a nice binder on it before long. thumbs up. am proud of you.

  58. Tricia
    January 6th, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

    Yeah, Shreve, ‘cos you have nothing but time on your hands. All you do is sit around and play on the computer all day.

    J/K! (Surely that’s a given)!

    Best of luck with your studies. You will make an Awesome EMT. Of this there is zero doubt.

    (I truly love your websites & insights but sometimes I just have to go visit Dooce after I’ve been here to get some sarcasm & cynicism and awesomeness in the opposite direction. Anyone else? *crickets* Just me, huh? Oh well, I’ve always been the odd one out).

  59. Schadenfreude
    January 6th, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    Good for you Shreve! I just hope your next installment of your stalker story is in the works. You ended on such a cliffhanger!

    (Hope this sounds less pestery and entitled, but more excited!)

  60. Bumblebee
    January 6th, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

    How WONDERFUL!!! Congrats Shreve!!!
    You will be awesome!!

  61. Janet H.
    January 6th, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

    As others here said, it is a wonderful compliment to you that your community has asked you to do this. I’m sure you’ll do a fine job.

  62. Katbalu
    January 7th, 2011 @ 5:42 am

    Good luck to you on your new endeavor! You will definitely be an asset to your local EMT! It appears that everything you have decided to tackle, you have completed successfully. You go girl!!!!

  63. Donna Perry
    January 7th, 2011 @ 6:12 am

    Shreve! You’re making all of us ordinary average folks look bad. :)
    You’ll be a fabulous EMT – but I expect calls will increase – “victims” will be asking for you by name. ;) ;)

  64. Angela S
    January 7th, 2011 @ 7:24 am

    Shreve~ You are amazing!

  65. Sarah L
    January 7th, 2011 @ 7:45 am

    Congratulations, Shreve! You’ll be a great EMT!

  66. Bronwyn
    January 7th, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    I would be so interested in hearing about this process! I’ve been seriously considering this career for a couple of years but after some dark stories am struggling with two things: can I handle things like babies dying in car accidents or suicides? And secondly, can I switch from night to day shift on a whim without going nuts?

    I admire the job so much, congratulations!

  67. Bruce Evans
    January 7th, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

    Wow! Bobby Sherman, David Lee Roth and Shreve Stockton. Great group, save me now!

  68. Bethany
    January 7th, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    Good for you Shreve~ That is something I have always wanted to do, my dad and grandfather were always involved with our local fire & rescue. Unfortunately, living in a truck a good part of my life takes that option away!

  69. Mia
    January 7th, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

    That is so outstanding, Shreve. You are the perfect candidate, and so qualified for the challenges ahead.

    Sidenote: I echo Schadenfreude for the same reason:

    “I just hope your next installment of your stalker story is in the works. You ended on such a cliffhanger!

    (Hope this sounds less pestery and entitled, but more excited!)”

  70. Karen
    January 7th, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

    Sounds like loads of work, but a great fit for you!

  71. Jennifer
    January 7th, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

    What good work! So happy for you!

  72. kelly
    January 8th, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

    This is great news – congrats – and we’re looking forward to EMT stories…. as much as we’re looking forward to the conclusion of the stalker story. PLEASE finish the story. I’m on pins and needles! So Finish the Story – THEN go to CLASS!

  73. carmel
    January 8th, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

    Go Girl ! You’ll be great and you’ll love it – follow your dreams…just like you’ve done before !!!

  74. Heidi
    January 8th, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

    Regarding your Tweet:

    Tired + Wired = Twired. I know it well.

  75. heather em
    January 10th, 2011 @ 2:06 am

    Congrats, Shreve. i admire and applaud you! Best of luck in your endeavors.

  76. muttluver
    January 10th, 2011 @ 6:48 am

    Ok, I can’t believe that NOT ONE other person has mentioned how hilarious that next to last paragraph was.

    I believe you are what is called a Badass Normal.

  77. shreve
    January 10th, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    I am like batman?!?!
    ” There is no “relatively” when it comes to Badass Normal. If you can “barely” lift a tank, your ki blasts can “only” level cities or your ability to alter the fabric of reality isn’t as developed as others, tough; you’re a badass with superpowers. “

  78. Kaelie
    January 10th, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

    Good luck Shreve! I’ve always wanted to become a volunteer EMS. Maybe after my life has slowed down a bit and I finally settle down, I will attempt it. :)

  79. candy
    January 10th, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

    WAY TO GO! another outstanding public servant! that’s the class that put me where i am today and i am so glad i took it! u will be great!

  80. Jerry Johnson
    January 11th, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    Shreve, as always, you are and remain a remarkable person. I’m very proud of you for doing this, giving back to your community. It makes me proud to be considered your friend.

  81. Dorothy
    January 12th, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

    Good on you, Shreve. I served on the Trauma Team (dealing with incoming injuries and acute illnesses) and as the point person for psychiatry in a children’s hospital emergency department for many years. There were times the work was harrowing, times it was hilarious, and always it was interesting and deeply fulfilling. From what I know of you, I believe you’ll do very well.

  82. Farmer John
    January 28th, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

    Shreve :
    What spare time do you have to do this ?? I would think your farmily , writings ,and fabulous photography is guaranteed to take up most of your time, unless you do not need sleep; please take care of yourself out there, and take time to just be, you need that too to recharge you batteries.

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