Volunteering makes you feel good



One night on a warm Italian night I was returning from a night out with my friends. The road I was driving was the famous Via Aurelia. Aurelian Way is also known as one of the first Roman roads.

In the middle Republic, a series of roads were built throughout Italy to serve the needs of Roman expansion, including swift army movements and reasonably quick communication with Roman colonies spread throughout Italy.

This road, due to the fact that it is near to the sea, makes it become foggy on certain nights.

As I was driving on this foggy and dark Via Aurelia, I felt a little bit of fatigue. I pulled over at a sandwich food truck (in Italy we call them Paninari) and I decided it was a good moment for a coffee and a small walk.

Touching that hot coffee my brain was awake. That black and short espresso was strong enough to power me for the 30-minute drive back home.

On the other side of the road, two Love Sellers were trying to trade with a client. I was curious what would happen if the Carabinieri (the Italian military Police Officers) would stop by to see what was going on. I was trying to imagine a way to stop the illegal prostitution in Italy. In that moment I was an expert of resolving country’s issues.

I ask for your apologies for including ugly parts of a country with the prostitution and the thoughts I might conjure up in your head. I hope this article will not make you stop reading my life’s episodes. The point is, that I have to write down the reality and not invent words and truths.

Thanks for your understanding!

The deal didn’t happen, and the German production car tried to leave the gas station. The traffic was more intense in that moment, as the people were coming back home from a Saturday night out. Another car was passing in that moment. The other side of the road (in that spot the Aurelia Way is only a two lane road) was full of cars driving one behind another in a queue. The car that was passing needed an entry back on its side, but the guy who was looking for a companion didn’t make it in time to leave the gas station. What I was afraid might happen, in fact happened. A strong blow between the two cars made me jump. I was expecting an explosion, but thankfully that didn’t happen. I was shocked and felt useless…

As I was watching, I can remember broken glasses, exploded airbags, blood, and people running over to the scene of the accident…

I heard lots of sirens, ambulance volunteers who were first responders helping the emergency doctors.

I need a phily collar and a backboard.

Matteo!” – somebody was trying to find his friend.

He’s loosing too much blood…

Here Delta 4, we need the helicopter…

The morning after that accident, I read the newspaper. The accident claimed two victims. Both of them were from the same car: the client and the escort. I was wrong, that guy took one of the ladies from that gas station…

Almost 4 years after that ugly episode that I was unlucky to witness, I received a call from a friend of mine. He told me that an association of ambulance volunteering would start that same evening, a free course accepting new volunteers. That course had the goal to educate people in how to react during a medical emergency and train you to become a skilled volunteer.

I needed to decide right away. The decision of becoming a volunteer would make me become criminally responsible. That would involve a lot of responsibility. I listened to what he told me, but before he could even finish reading me all the pros and cons, I made a decision. I made one of the wisest decisions of my life:

After 5 months and 2 courses (Basic level and Advanced level) I became an ambulance volunteer.

I learned how to manage an emergency situation, how to execute a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). I learned the proper protocol to use with victims of life-threatening illnesses or injuries until they can be given full medical care at a hospital (BLS).

They were able to educate you on everything you need in order to know how to handle an emergency situation…

I remember my first day as a volunteer. I was proud of myself. I realized how volunteering makes you feel good…

Knowing that you have the potential to make a difference was the reason I accepted to enroll in that class and become a volunteer. Knowing that you might have the knowledge to save somebody makes you feel better with yourself.

Everything happens for a reason. I hope the reason I did the course will never put me in an emergency because it would mean that somebody needs help; but if that would happen, I will be ready.

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