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Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Last Call...

Today was rough, but not because of the usual reasons. was rough because it was one of those days that every public servant dreads...Today we laid one of our own to rest. Paramedic Christopher Pickerell passed away on September 7th. It was a beautiful service. An honor fitting of the man. I think Chris' best friend said it best..."Chris wasn't perfect, but Chris was real." That statement stuck with me...the same thing could be said for any number of us, yet when applied to Paramedic Pickerell, it was beyond fitting. Chris was real...sometimes to a fault. At times it seemed that he lacked that filter that most of us learn as we mature. He was a sometimes whimsical mix of adult and kid...sometimes that kid would speak before the adult could censor the outcome. This was Chris...and this is why many of us were honored to call him our friend.

The memorial service ended, as most public safety funerals do, with "The Last Call." Since I know many of my readers aren't public safety workers I will explain. In this line of work, your radio is your lifeline. No matter what is going on you answer the radio, it's ingrained in all of us to the point that to not answer the radio is borderline painful. During the last call the dispatcher attempts to contact the fallen responder a few times...each time met by silence. After the last attempt a brief synopsis of the person's career is given followed by some variation of "we will now hold you out of service for the remainder, your shift is over, we have coverage from here, rest in peace and god bless." Simply typing these words puts chills up my back. This is the end most of us know is on the horizon but fear and pray our family (both biological and throughout the extended brotherhood of public safety) never have to hear. It's a beautiful sentiment and a grim reminder of the mortality each of us face. Today we laid to rest another amazing person...not just a paramedic, but a husband, father, son, friend, brother...etc...this list could continue on.

So for tonight this is all I have to sure to tell those around you how you feel. Tell them you love them, hold them close, always say what you mean (Chris never had a problem with this one), and most importantly live life.

Goodbye to Paramedic Pickerell...You served your region with pride, rest easy brother. You're 10-7 for the remainder...we will cover the rest from here. God bless and God Speed....

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding essay. I knew Chris from a kid, and his funeral was befitting his character.