It’s Thursday afternoon in Winston-Salem. I'm Erica Stapleton with WFMY News 2 and I did a 12 hour overnight shift with Forsyth County EMS. The goal was to track overdoses, which happens, but inadvertently I also have new insight on how a paramedic sees the world.
"We’re more than just ambulance drivers," explains paramedic Chris Nichols. "I think that’s the one thing that irritates our profession more than anything is that we get called ambulance drivers and we’re not just ambulance drivers. We can handle anything from bringing life in or being there when someone is dying.” He says they run anywhere from 6-9 calls in a 12-hour shift. He's been working in this field since 1994.
"The heroin in the last what - about 2 years? I would say has gone up drastically. We’re seeing more and more of them."