EMS Poem: ‘The Physicians Choice’

A volunteer firefighter/AEMT relates who is chosen to be guardian angels on Earth


Dr. Casey Norlin, a volunteer Firefighter II/AEMT for the Colton (Ore.) Rural Fire District, submitted the following poem about his experience in the fire and EMS field. Do you have a creative work about your experience as a first responder you’d like to share? Email us at editor@ems1.com

By Dr. Casey Norlin, DMD

As the Lord looked down upon the world full of sadness, sickness and fear;
He knew He’d need someone, to be his hands and feet down here.

The angels pondered at the Lord and what would be his master plan;
for the great physician would need physicians to heal the sick in all the land.

Emergency medical technicians from the 959th Medical Group assess and treat a patient during a scenario in the EMT Rodeo Sept. 18, 2015, at Melrose Air Force Range, New Mexico. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez)
Emergency medical technicians from the 959th Medical Group assess and treat a patient during a scenario in the EMT Rodeo Sept. 18, 2015, at Melrose Air Force Range, New Mexico. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez)

It must be a general surgeon, there’s no question to the lot;
for someone who knows God’s image would be the one to take this spot.

Perhaps it’s a pediatrician, another angel spoke, for helping children mild and meek;
the children know God’s kingdom as they sat round Jesus’s feet.

No the individual will be a cardiologist, the Lord always speaks from the heart;
to know this vital organ is the physician the lord will choose right from the start.

God wants someone who covers everything, not this thing, that or there;
the one who will catch sickness first, it’s the one in primary care.

Gnashing of teeth causes poor souls to weep in Hell;
so it’s the dentist who can dry their tears and make their sick tooth well.

What about the bread of life? The substance for the soul;
a gastroenterologist who knows digestion, lack of nourishment and how it takes life’s toll.

Yet the physician must be one to help all kinds of injured and sick;
my lot is with the ER physician, the one who can diagnose real quick.

It’s an oncologist, with medications, who cleanses the body’s sinning flood;
to stem the multiplying cancer, intravenously placing power in the blood.

No, the person will be the pulmonologist, the one who knows the breath of life;
and so they bickered and they argued in a playful childish fight.

This healer, spoke the Lord, I will direct to go in my physician’s place;
and when people see their acts of love, perhaps they will see my face.

I can’t promise him good hours, for 24/7 could be their call;
I can’t promise him life safety, for he will see his brothers and sisters around him fall.

He will be someone’s guardian angel in their moment of despair;
but when dark demons in the past come back to haunt his mind, I only I hope he will remember I’m still there.

He will be someone’s lungs, he will be the breath of life;
he will be the earthy angel in life’s many strife.

His own brothers may deny him for the works done in his name;
and though there should be no difference, he will never be viewed as the same.

He won’t even earn pennies, but mostly nothing or less;
and when given he will need to give in order to pass the test.

He will be the breath for those who cannot breathe, the pressure for hearts that stop to beat;
for he will go where I need him and be my hands and feet.

Saints face death like martyrs to further the cause of Christ;
dark faces of PTSD, cancer and heart attacks could be this martyr’s price.

He will walk through degrees of Hell in smoke or earth scorched black;
to be the one to enter and extinguish it, before coming back.

He will carry my children, the young, the old, the sick;
keeping the Grimm Reaper’s arms out of grasp by stabilizing real quick.

He will be a psychiatrist when a challenged soul needs a moment to talk;
and comfort the dying as a pastor or priest would to his flock.

He must fathom the make of buildings from designs he’s never seen;
to understand how things are made without an architect or engineering degree.

The hardships are many, he will see hell on earth;
and most of all, he will give it all for life, that priceless worth.

They will come from all walks of life, and every creed and color;
but they must care for every soul like a child cared for by their mother.

Though it is hard, I know it’s hard to give all for the lost sheep;
yet he will still show love with his hands, in carrying love goes deep.

He won’t have a fancy title, prestigious or doctorate degree;
but most likely be a tradesman … a technician … like a carpenter … like me.

The angels were puzzled and questioned who would be Christ’s hands and legs on earth right here;
with tears in his eyes, the Lord spoke, he’s no physician, nurse or PA, he is a firefighter/EMT-volunteer.

About the author

Casey Norlin, DMD, started his career in public safety as a volunteer firefighter in college, and continued volunteering during his doctorate program at Oregon Health and Science University. He is a general dentist for a public health clinic, a dental officer for the Oregon National Guard 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and still volunteers as a Firefighter II/AEMT for the Colton (Ore.) Rural Fire District.

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