Grat­i­tude in or­der

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - OPINION -

“THE thing I re­mem­ber was all the Christ­mas presents strewn around the car as we at­tended to the driver. He was driv­ing up to see his grand­kids and rolled the car in the rain at Mow­bray.”

A Port Dou­glas am­bu­lance of­fi­cer re­mem­bers the ghosts of Christ­mas past.

For­tu­nately the grand­fa­ther was not badly off and sur­vived the in­ci­dent.

“I re­mem­ber last Christ­mas, we’d just eaten a huge meal at the sta­tion when we got a call to at­tend a med­i­cal emer­gency.

“A gen­tle­man was hav­ing chest pains. When we got there we worked on him for a long time but we couldn’t save him. He had just got mar­ried.”

In this is­sue we look at how some lo­cals are spend­ing Christ­mas. Whether their plans are ex­cit­ing or sim­ply for a quiet time, it doesn’t mat­ter. Christ­mas works just as well if you’re hav­ing a quiet time at home with peo­ple you’re close to.

But the paramedics’ sto­ries of be­ing on duty at Christ­mas – and th­ese sto­ries have their coun­ter­parts of course for po­lice, firies and other emer­gency ser­vice peo­ple – are a re­minder that not ev­ery­one gets to have the kind of Christ­mas they may be long­ing for.

Last week a ham­per of goods was dropped off to Port Dou­glas Am­bu­lance Sta­tion. The of­fi­cer on duty asked the donor why, “have we treated you?” No, they hadn’t. This good soul was just think­ing of them and try­ing to give some­thing back, some­thing for the long hours, the odd hours, the con­stant liv­ing with the un­ex­pected, the com­mit­ment and ser­vice, and for the aw­ful things that haunt their mem­ory.

WHERE did the year go? The next Gazette will ap­pear on Jan­uary 12. We wish ev­ery­one the best com­pli­ments of the sea­son and look for­ward to see­ing you in 2017. Merry Christ­mas and happy New Year

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