EMS Poem: ‘The paramedic’ by Kevin Jura
“My internal chart is scattered with debris”
By Kevin F. Jura, JP, ALB, ALM, DrPH(c), NRP, EMT-T, FRSPH, FRSA
Paramedic Kevin F. Jura submitted the following poem, part of an assignment for one of his classes at Harvard University. “It was also a very cathartic means for me to express my thoughts and feelings from my CPTSD, after almost 20-years as an active paramedic,” Jura writes.
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I am a paramedic who loves what I do
I help other people, yes that is true
On duty or off, I am always prepared
To do what is needed, and help out the scared
It is a calling, yes, it is true
A calling maybe, but I’ll give you a clue
I do it for love, and not for some glory
People are in need of help when its gory
Anywhere and everywhere, wherever it may be
Always ready, I swear, to help out you see
A paramedic is there when you are sick
Ready to respond and get to you quick
Daily they go without much food or sleep
But rarely do you know how they often weep
Not for themselves, but for those unsaved
It is a burden that is often engraved
In their broken hearts, and traumatized brains
They would do again, even with the pain
They do it for you, and they do it for me
They do it hereto, they do it for thee
They are there to chart what has been done
They are there with a start that cannot be undone
The injured and ill, with their cries of despair
Is seared into their hearts and nightmares
I am a paramedic, a broken man you see
I care for the sick and strive to be
The best one that I can, preferably unseen
Ready to go, responding to the scene
One day I hope, to leave it behind
I try not to mope, and have it enshrined
In my heart and my soul forever, you see
My internal chart is scattered with debris
I once was unknowing, pure as the snow
Easygoing, ready to go with the flow
However, give the devil his due, for it is true
I am a paramedic, and this is what I do!
Read next: EMS Poem: The paramedic’s humanity
About the author
The Hon. Kevin F. Jura, JP, ALB, ALM, DrPH(c), NRP, EMT-T, FRSPH, FRSA
Kevin is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree at Tulane University, is an active professional member of the National Association of EMS Physicians, and a prodigious peer reviewer for the “Cureus Journal Medical Science” and the “Journal of Special Operations Medicine.” He is also a former Massachusetts gubernatorial judicial appointee, by and with the advice and consent of the Executive Council (in lieu of the Massachusetts State Senate), and a strategic senior leader commanding over two decades of experience driving organizational excellence within the public sphere.
Throughout his long and distinguished career, Kevin has been an active paramedic for over 20 years and has over 20 years of combined judicial, public safety, national security public health emergency preparedness in the United States, and international public health experience in Geneva, Switzerland. He has previously served as a Justice of the Peace, County Deputy Chief of EMS, law enforcement lieutenant, and as a tactical paramedic, among other positions.
Prior to returning to graduate school, Kevin ran the Strategic National Stockpile for the State of Maryland. He has also served on multiple national taskforces, workgroups, and committees for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Association of State and Tribal Health Officials, and other federal agencies and national associations. Kevin has also been recognized internationally by being elected as a full Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health (FRSPH) and a full Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in the United Kingdom. Connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinjura/.