Meet Dale Bayliss, RN / Advanced Care Paramedic / Author
Dale Bayliss has spent a lifetime of dedicated hard work in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS), as a Registered Nurse in Emergency, Special Care Unit / ICU, as a Flight Nurse, Flight Paramedic, as a Volunteer Firefighter and as a dedicated educator in all EMS programs for many years. We are all “Keeping others alive despite the forces of nature, predetermined fate and our ultimate destiny.”
My Pledge: “I will change the world if only one person at a time.”
Several years ago, I had the realization that we had lost way too many people from our teams without recognizing it. I also realized we are always in harm’s way, even if we can’t see it at the time. All the way from Mayerthorpe, to Moncton, to St. Albert. School, religious, and political shooting events are real wake up calls to many of us. There was a time I thought we were all safe in the EMS world. I never thought we were in danger, but our society has changed and the value for human life is not as upheld as it once was. Some people that hate others so freely, also disrespect the helpers who wear uniforms. Even though our intentions are help people, our uniforms can make us a target. We need to look out for each other on and off the job.
As an instructor for over twenty years, I was privileged to teach over a thousand students and I was happy that I could help make our EMS profession a better one. Sadly, the EMS profession is struggling with copious amounts of loss. I have lost some of my students, lost some of my friends, and we have all lost people that matter to us. This loss has affected me profoundly, as it has so many others. PTSD and Compassionate Fatigue are robbing us of our team members, friends, and family. The people we lost needed help that never came and I think future losses are completely avoidable.
I also think that over time we will learn that we all suffer some degree of PTSD due to our line of work; we are constantly exposed to pain, suffering, and death in the most sudden and intense circumstances. Front-line healthcare workers, rescue personnel, law enforcement personnel, and soldiers have some of the highest rates of suicide out of all the Canadian professionals. I want to do my share to help decrease these losses and one of the ways I can do that is to remind everyone that we need to help our coworkers more than we ever have before, but most importantly we need to help ourselves. We can’t continue to ignore the hurt and pain helping others creates. We need to learn to talk about it and reach out when our coping mechanisms fail. We can’t bring back the ones we’ve already lost, but we can honor their memories by creating a world where no one is left behind.
A world where every single life matters. Every. Single. One.
I thought long and hard about other ways to help and I came up with an idea. A set of books that openly discuss the challenges and negative effects of a caregiver in healthcare could promote more open discussions about PTSD and Caregiver Fatigue. Perhaps, by sharing stories and experiences a lot of us have had, it would encourage others to share their stories, and eventually it would become more acceptable and easier to talk about the bad stuff. These books should appeal to all levels of practitioners, yet be available to anyone to read, and so began my new career as an author.
It was my initial dream to publish seven books, all dealing with the trials and tribulations of front-line healthcare workers, but the loss of my therapy dog, Tinsel, has bumped that goal up to eight. My first book was published in July 2017: Caretakers & Lifesavers: My Memoirs – To Hell and Back, which is the story of my life to date.
I then published and finished book two, Between Life & Death, in October 2017 and this book will forever be my biggest gift to my EMS family, and to my late therapy dog, Tinsel, who was stolen from me by cancer. Book two is my attempt to reach the hearts of people and show them that EMS is a wonderful and a rewarding career; yet, at the same time share the risks and potential for harm that can occur. The normal feelings of helplessness and grief can have a price on our souls, but I am living proof that no matter what happens we can get through it. I hope this book encourages people to help themselves and each other with dealing with stress, life’s challenges, personal challenges, and PTSD from a real life approach. It has been a huge hit with many readers.
Update: December 25th 2018: I just published and released book three Nobody Walks Alone: Overcoming the Darkness of EMS
This book will demonstrate that with the right people placed together working in the Emergency Medical Services at just the right time, in the right place, along with the right desire to help we make a difference. Along with the right Basic Life Support / Advanced Life Support equipment at their disposal they can make most outcomes better. It is so unpredictable, scary, traumatic, and overwhelming what we walk into on our emergency calls as a Paramedic, but no matter what we respond to we take immediate charge and we challenge the outcomes with our wisdom, our team members, and our education in an attempt to make the best out of every event that many of you won’t even be able to imagine.
The next four are geared towards the Emergency Medical Responders (EMR), Primary Care Parmenides (PCP’s), and Advanced Care Paramedics (ACP’s) that make up most prehospital care providers, and books two through eight are meant to build a formal foundation of knowledge at all levels of the current EMS system. The final book is to be a survival guide of sorts for Emergency Medicine for anyone to read. Each book will build on the previous book and are all uniquely different, so if you read them all you will be learning a lot. I want these books to be an inspiration to those that come after me, to continue the legacy of helping others.
Book #1 – Caretakers & lifesavers: My Memoirs is simply my life long story. Book #1 is my attempt to reach the hearts of people and show them EMS is a wonderful and a very rewarding career. At the same time, it’s at some risk and there is very real potential to hurt us all if we are not ready to see what we will ultimately respond to over our careers. I want to show people this is as a real but normal feeling of sometimes helplessness, grief is very real, caring has a price on our souls. No matter the complications or the road blocks we found a solution. No matter what happened I got through it. This book is simply my story. By sharing my story i pray I can also share your pain. Just now your not alone.
Book #2 – Between Life & Death: Surviving the Darkness is my Inspirational EMS Book to help all people deal with stress, life’s challenges, personal challenges and fight the effects from PTSD from a real-life approach. Many events were real and other parts are fictional or related to events that have happened in the past. Call it simply life’s lessons to share. I will help carry your pain and I will help carry you over the roughest days. This book is much more different then my first book. I promise to take you for the ride of your life while responding with us in the back of an Ambulance. We will respond to emergency calls right out of the worst of the worst events and make the best out of the possible outcomes. It will be a very entertaining and realistic adventure. Just hang on and I promise to bring you back on the other side of hell.
Book #3 – No Body Walks Alone: Overcoming the Darkness of EMS
With people working together as a team to challenge a patient’s medical disasters or traumatic injures and the right desire to make the system better we are what makes the difference in all patient’s outcomes. Despite our best intentions some cases we will lose the battle for life but often destiny was decided before we ever got the 9-1-1 call. With the pure dedication to help others in their time of need we can make anything possible, even on the worst calls. You, along with the influence of the one right person at your side as your partner, can stimulate a change in our existing world. With extra effort, we can improve our current Emergency Medical Services (EMS) or medical system and make it even better if we are up for the challenge. No matter the obstacles we face; with the right determination, the right people at your side, and the right persistence and endurance nothing is impossible.
Just know we will never be able to rest and when the time is right you must pass on your role to the next best and available member. We can’t fix others’ battles for health and wellness forever and be expected to always be the best. Life does not work that way in EMS or in health care. When you’re ready to walk away hold your head up high and know you made a difference.
Nothing is impossible with determination and the support of our amazing friends and co-workers.