The aftermath of flight 204 – Jeremy Kerr
Last week, we posted about the recent place crash in Vancouver; highlighting the importance of quick thinking bystanders and EMS personnel. Jeremy Kerr was one of those bystanders who decided to act and put his life at risk to rescue those trapped in the wreckage.
In a letter to the Vancouver Sun, Jeremy talks about his part in daring rescue. He paints a powerful and emotional picture for us as he attempts to save those trapped in the plane. But his story does not end there. For Jeremy it is about the aftermath, no one can walk away from an accident like that and not take a part of it with them.
After the successful rescue Jeremy is left feeling waves of emotion and adrenaline. The following day he learned that the pilot had died from his injuries. His feelings turned into guilt; of not being able to do more. It is not unusual for those involved in a terrible accident to feel emotions of guilt and responsibility; in fact it is quite normal.
Jeremy knew he couldn’t deal with this alone. He sought out the firefighters who were at the scene of the crash with him. They knew what Jeremy would be experiencing, and again those firefighters would lend a helping hand to someone in need.
They gave Jeremy the unique opportunity to debrief with them the next day. By offering their support and the overwhelming compassion they brought Jeremy closer to overcoming his guilt. EMS personnel are part of a brotherhood. They look out for each other. This time they decided to look out for Jeremy. During the rescue he became one of the brothers and they would be there for him.
Jeremy Kerr will always hold on to the sad memories of the crash. But with the help of his new brothers he has the reassurance that he did everything he could have. His efforts saved lives that day, and now he continues to help others by sharing his emotional story.
EMS personnel who deal with emergencies must be able to cope with powerful emotions; they are an everyday part of their lives. For them, it’s not just about saving lives; it’s about coping with the aftermath so they can continue saving lives.