I work in EMS and while it’s been incredibly spiritually rewarding it’s also been very soul crushing for one very big reason, I do not see emergency responders as heroes.
Don’t get me wrong, setting aside the all too common racist incidents and the like, cops do often do an important and dangerous job and that is heroic. Firefighters run into places the rest of us run out of. EMS personnel save lives. But that’s the job as a whole, individuals as individuals are human, and all too often terrible ones.
I’ve heard stories of firefighters letting fires get worse not as a tactic but so that fighting them would be more fun. I see medics and EMTs yell at patients and treat them like dirt. And I know several overtly racist cops, not to mention that almost every cop I know has a major power trip where being able to enforce their authority (and thinking of these guys I can’t help but to say that word in my head with Cartman’s voice) is like a drug to them. Scariest of all, I know a few officers with horrible trigger discipline, and can even see incidents like these being the result of the cops getting worked up, full of adrenaline, scared (rightly or wrongly it doesn’t really matter), and firing unintentionally. And they’re human and all too often poorly trained, so that’s understandable to a point, but that doesn’t make it excusable. If anything it goes to show hoer important it is that we better train our officers and better vet those that want to enter law enforcement.