Chapter 2: Work and home

Sustaining relationships

How do paramedics build and maintain relationships when there are aspects of their work lives they don’t wish to share? How do family and friends create a caring relationship when there are details they don’t want to hear? The answers will be personal and different for each paramedic, their family, and friends. In most cases, there’s a middle ground to discover.


I don’t tell my husband about the gore. For that, I talk to my colleagues. But I do share with him how I’m feeling, like how powerless I sometimes feel when someone dies during a call. In this way, we stay connected while respecting each other’s boundaries.  – Canadian paramedic