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Occupational consequences

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Written by   75
2 months ago
Topics: Life, Thought

It was a simple drama. The story revolves around the lives of a group of firemen in a fire station. It was a small team of twelve. The firemen doubled up as paramedics depending on their shifts and at any one time, two will team-up to work together in their shift, to a point that they were overworked most times.

I wasn’t too excited about the drama at first because it seemed like any other dramas that moves along with each of the fireman, focusing on a few characters, saving people’s lives from burning buildings, forests and so on.

After watching a couple of episodes, one episode caught my attention. It was related to the first episode, which means, it was a couple of episodes along before I started thinking deeper into it.

One of the characters in the first episode had braved into a burning apartment, to save an elderly woman trapped with her legs stuck underneath a fallen cupboard. It took a lot of effort for the firemen to pull her out of the rubble and they did in the end.

But during that time, the elderly woman wasn’t too keen to be saved because she knew she would be paralysed as she could not feel her legs and she didn’t want to have to rely on others to live her life. She had asked the firemen to leave her there and to let her die.

But firemen have a mission to save lives that can be saved and they would do whatever they can to save lives.  A couple of people debated on whether the firemen should save the elderly woman if she didn’t want to be saved. It was an on-going debate across a couple of episodes.

Then, came the episode that got caught my attention quite unexpectedly. The same group of firemen was called to a location where a woman who was on the verge of committing suicide. She sat by the edge of the roof with her legs outwards, looking down to a growing crowd. The firemen started work to lay a foundation of mattresses or something of that sort, in anticipation of the woman jumping. The head fireman assigned a couple of his guys to go up to the roof and to try to save the woman.

One of the firemen assigned was the one who saved the elderly woman who didn’t want to be saved in the first episode. When the group of them reached the woman who was at the edge of the roof, the woman was clearly depressed. She cried that she has lost everything. She was the owner of the apartment that burned down and she was the daughter of the elderly woman who was saved by the fireman.

While trying to coax the woman to chat, the fireman got to know that the woman had lost her apartment from the fire, and she was then tasked to take care of her mother even though her house was burnt down because her brother refused to take on the responsibility. She had to find a temporary rented place and stayed "home" everyday to take care of her paralysed mother, and because of that, she lost her job. At the same time, her boyfriend dumped her,

The woman was pushed to her limits and she couldn’t take it anymore. She cried why did the firemen save her mother and she wished she was the one who died in the fire. At the end of the conversation, she said she felt better and that it was time to go down. The fireman thought she was going to step off away from the edge back to safety but instead, she jumped off the other direction, down the building and killed herself. Before she jumped off, she asked the fireman has he ever regretted any of his actions?

The fireman who saved the elderly woman earlier couldn’t comprehend what had happened. He couldn’t help but think if he had made a mistake saving the elderly woman who didn't want to be saved because he has indirectly driven the woman to kill herself.

Quite frankly, I was quite speechless myself when I was watching them, how an action could lead to such an outcome, how every action and decision that we make, could lead to both a favourable and unfavourable outcome and how every action has its consequences.

In the case of this fireman, he was doing his job. He has a responsibility to save lives as long as they are save-able, and whether or not they wanted to be saved, was a secondary point.

In the subsequent episodes, the fireman started breaking down, caused by the incident and he started to question his own actions. He started to question his profession and asked himself what was the point of it all at the end of it. He began to hallucinate and it started to affect his work.

I couldn’t think about it myself, how do we comprehend such a situation and how do we neutralize or come to terms with our emotions knowing that our occupational action and responsibilities have caused the life of another? It was an internal battle within, between a professional responsibility, what was right, and what made sense or not.

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Dramas can be thought provoking and it is one of the reasons why I enjoy watching life dramas. Every now and then, when something triggers my thoughts, I would think deeper into it and question, what would I have done in that situation? Sometimes, I would think of my version of an answer and sometimes, I would not have an answer but still, it is something I'd like to think about.

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Written by   75
2 months ago
Topics: Life, Thought
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