Disaster Plan – The last letters you will ever write

LODD LetterIt has indeed been almost 6 months since I last gave you instructions on our Family Disaster Plan.  if this is the first you are reading of it, click on the Disaster Plan tab at the top of the page and get caught up.

Today’s step is an important one, but in no way, shape or form should it be your first.

Tonight you are going to write a Line of Duty Death instructions sheet to your spouse and loved ones to read and follow only in the event of your death, at work.

This is different than your living will, which you all have now, right?

This is also different than any funeral arrangements you may have made or hope to make.

In the back of the Family Disaster Plan are two important sets of instructions.  The first is the Line of Duty Injury instructions sheet.

This gives my wife a list of phone numbers at Headquarters as well as who to ask for at the firehouse, “the Captain” and “Daywatch” to get someone who can tell her more about what may have happened to me if she is indeed notified that I am injured on the job.

The last time I got hurt no one called her because I was treated and released so quickly.  But if it happens again and she gets a phone call in the middle of the night, she knows to take a deep breath and relax.  I know because that is how the instructions start.

Here is just a snippet to get you thinking about what to write in yours-

“Well, you got the phone call you’ve been dreading.  I understand you are upset.  If I got hurt I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  We’ll worry about all that later, I need you to start thinking three hours ahead.  Each decision you make between now and this time tomorrow will set the pace for the coming week.  Take a deep breath and calm down.

I’ll wait.

Good.

Goto the closet and get one of my work T-Shirts or sweatshirts and wear it when you come to see me.  Be honest if folks ask if you need anything.  Take their help.  They need to help as much as you need it.”

It will get emotional when you prepare them for what they might see when a firefighter is injured in the line of duty.  Be honest.  If you dance around topics now it will only create confusion at the most improper time.  End the letter by reminding them that even though you are hurt, it could be worse.

Now, while an emotional wreck, excuse yourself and be alone for a bit and HAND WRITE the next letter – Line of Duty Death Instructions.

This letter is the one they will keep and read over and over and over after you are gone.  Tell them about why you did what you did or chose this job, profession, occupation, place to volunteer.  Sign it, seal it in an envelope and put it in the back of the Disaster Plan.

On the same day, make plans to open the letter the day after your retirement.  Perhaps someplace tropical.

Do it now or regret it later, your choice.

HM

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24 thoughts on “Disaster Plan – The last letters you will ever write”

  1. This is some thing I have never thought of doing before as a Paramedic. I am currently a TEMS medic for the busiest team in Canada. This is some thing I am going to give some serious thought to and ensure is in place for my family. I am a recent follower of EMS 2.0 keep up the good work.

  2. This is some thing I have never thought of doing before as a Paramedic. I am currently a TEMS medic for the busiest team in Canada. This is some thing I am going to give some serious thought to and ensure is in place for my family. I am a recent follower of EMS 2.0 keep up the good work.

  3. This is some thing I have never thought of doing before as a Paramedic. I am currently a TEMS medic for the busiest team in Canada. This is some thing I am going to give some serious thought to and ensure is in place for my family. I am a recent follower of EMS 2.0 keep up the good work.

  4. Great idea. I have been working on something like this. Its important that people in your family have a plan, know how you feel about them, as well as giving some words of wisdom for your spouse and children (if you have any) And of course, the most important thing I can leave behind is a plan for others to find a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The only purpose in my life greater than “saving lives” as a Paramedic is to help save people's souls by introducing them to God. As bad as death is, there is nothing worse than eternal separation from God in hell. If talking about God offends anyone, you'll get over it.
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  5. Great idea. I have been working on something like this. Its important that people in your family have a plan, know how you feel about them, as well as giving some words of wisdom for your spouse and children (if you have any) And of course, the most important thing I can leave behind is a plan for others to find a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The only purpose in my life greater than “saving lives” as a Paramedic is to help save people’s souls by introducing them to God. As bad as death is, there is nothing worse than eternal separation from God in hell. If talking about God offends anyone, you’ll get over it.
    +

  6. Great idea. I have been working on something like this. Its important that people in your family have a plan, know how you feel about them, as well as giving some words of wisdom for your spouse and children (if you have any) And of course, the most important thing I can leave behind is a plan for others to find a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The only purpose in my life greater than “saving lives” as a Paramedic is to help save people's souls by introducing them to God. As bad as death is, there is nothing worse than eternal separation from God in hell. If talking about God offends anyone, you'll get over it.
    +

  7. Thanks for finally posting this. I’ve been waiting patiently (I haven’t even bugged you once for it!) because I know you’re very busy. My husband has been injured — also a treat and release minor thing he only called me about because the media caught wind of it on the fire scene– but more importantly, three of his co-workers just barely made it out of a window as a house flashed last week. This kind of stuff has been forefront in our minds and I’m going to ask him to take the time getting this done this afternoon. Thanks for all your preparedness advice, our family plan is coming along smoothly and I appreciate your advice and guidance on this.

  8. Thanks for finally posting this. I've been waiting patiently (I haven't even bugged you once for it!) because I know you're very busy. My husband has been injured — also a treat and release minor thing he only called me about because the media caught wind of it on the fire scene– but more importantly, three of his co-workers just barely made it out of a window as a house flashed last week. This kind of stuff has been forefront in our minds and I'm going to ask him to take the time getting this done this afternoon. Thanks for all your preparedness advice, our family plan is coming along smoothly and I appreciate your advice and guidance on this.

  9. HM… While I am not a FF and my chances of dying in the line of duty are less than those of my FF brethren, I am realistic of the possibility. The Kevlar vest I wear every night is an indication of this…

    I had never thought of this before. But it is on my todo list for the day. I’d life if I said it did’t bring a tear to my eye though, as my son plays with his toy ambulance on the floor in front of me.

  10. HM… While I am not a FF and my chances of dying in the line of duty are less than those of my FF brethren, I am realistic of the possibility. The Kevlar vest I wear every night is an indication of this…

    I had never thought of this before. But it is on my todo list for the day. I’d life if I said it did’t bring a tear to my eye though, as my son plays with his toy ambulance on the floor in front of me.

  11. HM… While I am not a FF and my chances of dying in the line of duty are less than those of my FF brethren, I am realistic of the possibility. The Kevlar vest I wear every night is an indication of this…

    I had never thought of this before. But it is on my todo list for the day. I'd life if I said it did't bring a tear to my eye though, as my son plays with his toy ambulance on the floor in front of me.

  12. HM… While I am not a FF and my chances of dying in the line of duty are less than those of my FF brethren, I am realistic of the possibility. The Kevlar vest I wear every night is an indication of this…

    I had never thought of this before. But it is on my todo list for the day. I'd life if I said it did't bring a tear to my eye though, as my son plays with his toy ambulance on the floor in front of me.

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