Ordinary People

"You know; this is a bigger deal than you think." That's what I tell my wife as she gets ready for her second interview. For the second time in one day, I've been asked "Are you Veronica Baskerville's husband?" I’ve heard this question many times in our 12 years of marriage, but not from reporters.  

The evening before, my wife went from hearing the piercing sounds of laughter and joy at a baby shower, to the ringing in her ears of gun shots piercing the air. One of those shots landed in the shoulder of a 7-year-old kid. My wife rendered aid to the kid until public safety arrived on the scene to take over. So automatic was her response to give aide, it didn't register for her to even talk about it later that evening. Honestly, with each of us being in the public safety for 16 yrs. each, we each have forgotten most of these stories before getting home. It’s “Just another day at the office.”

On this first day of National EMS week (15-21 May), I'm reminded that of the many ways to group people in the world. I have found yet another paring. There are those people in public safety that have these ordinary days. On duty or not. Career or volunteer.  Full time, part-time, or per call. And will always answer the call to action.

And then there are the people not in public safety. People who see our ordinary day as extraordinary. And appreciate that someone is doing these ordinary things that have an extraordinary impact. I’ve had the privilege of seeing the embodiment of public service for 16 years in my wife. Despite her claims of being an ordinary person, I have always known her extraordinary impact.

About the Author

NICK BASKERVILLE has had the honor of serving in the United States Air Force for 10 years, followed by 4 years in the United States Air Force Reserves. He attained the rank of Technical Sergeant (E-6). Nick also has 16 years of fire service time, with 13 years of that being in a career department in Northern Virginia. Nick has had the opportunity to hold positions in the Company Officer's section of the Virginia Fire Chief's Association (VFCA), The Virginia Fire Officer's Academy (VFOA) staff, and in the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (IABPFF) as a chapter president, a Health and Wellness committee member, and one of the IABPFF representatives to the Fire Service Occupational Cancer Alliance.