I have been wracking my brain for the last week as to what to put up for my 200th post.  Yes, folks, this is it.  Number 200.  It has taken almost three years, but it is quite an accomplishment if you ask me.

As I take a look at my current career, I cannot help but reflect back on where I have been.  2013 is a year of new experiences for me.  I’m in a new service with new protocols, and new opportunities.  It took me a while to figure out where I wanted to land, and if you had asked me a year ago, I would have told you I was content with where I was.  I might not have been overwhelmingly thrilled with it, but I was content.  The last six months though was like writing on the wall for me that it was time to move on.

Fifteen years ago in January of 1998, I tested for my second EMT card.  I had gotten my New Jersey certification a few years prior, and the fall of 1997 found me enrolled in my second EMT class.  I decided to retake the class to refresh myself, because I had the option of trying to get reciprocity and testing out.  By February of 1998, I got that envelope in the mail, the big envelope.

In the state of Massachusetts, when a person gets certified as an EMT they are given their own certification number that will travel with them for their career, barring them doing something like forgetting to recertify.  The number on the card that I got in the mail that day was 848810.  Two and a half years later when I got my paramedic card in the mail, it had the same number, 848810.

The recertification process in Massachusetts is not an easy one.  Well, from the provider side of things it is not too bad.  A paramedic needs to do 24 hours of continuing education and a 48 hour approved refresher class every two years, and then send all of their recertification in along with a check made out for way too much money via US mail (certified mail if you’re smart) by January 31st of their recert year and wait patiently for their card to come in the mail, hopefully before April 1 when their card expires.  My 24 hours of ConEds was a piece of cake.  Since I was planning my move though, I decided to pass on the 48 hour refresher this time around.

That means that effective 23:59 on April 1st of this year, I will no longer be certified as a Massachusetts paramedic.  Along with my certification, my number will be “retired” as well just over fifteen years after I got my first card in the mail.

For me it marks a corner that I’ve turned in my life.  I thought hard about recertifying, but I decided not to.  With my National card in my pocket now my options are a bit more open, but based on where I am right now, I have no intention or desire to go back to Massachusetts at this point in my career.

It was a wild ride up there.  We always say that three years in Springfield is equal to eight to ten years experience anywhere else.  It is an incredibly intense city, and once you sort through the more “routine” emergencies, there is a lot to see, learn, and do there.  I have always said that I would not trade my experiences there for anything, and that stands true, but it is time to move on to new things.

What better way to celebrate my 200th post than to say “goodbye” to that old number?  No matter what I do, 848810 will always be attached to me in some cardboard box of old paperwork at one of the services I’ve worked for over the years, but a couple of months from now, my career as a Massachusetts paramedic will “officially” be over.

Thanks to all of you for reading these first 200 posts, or whatever part of them you’ve partaken in.  There will be plenty more to come!  I promise, they won’t all be as mushy as these last couple have been.  It’s been an interesting transition for me with the move and all, and I really feel that most of it needed to be shared.