Last shift was brutal. A guy decided to take his life and set himself on fire inside his car. I was first on scene and the words out of my mouth upon seeing him were "oh buddy what did you do?". There was nothing me or my crew could do except declare a Code 5 and wait for the police, fire investigator, and the coroner to arrive. And try to console the family members who found him the best we could.
If you've never seen a burnt body, I hope you never do. It is ghastly. And I didn't sleep very well that night in the dorm. Because every time I shut my eyes I would see him , what was left of him. As odd as it sounds, I was thankful and comforted by eight snoring and farting men around me while I lay awake struck with insomnia. My blissfully asleep crewmates made me feel safe and I reminded myself the images in my mind would fade with time, and counted the hours till shift was over so I could hold my children in my arms and tell them 'I love you' a thousand times over.