Posted on Apr 12, 2017
MSgt Steven Holt, NRP
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After retiring from Active Duty I embarked on a new career in EMS. Recently, I worked a scene very reminiscent of an event that occurred while deployed. I suffered a mild "flashback" during the event and now my coworkers are telling me my recollection of events is not what they observed. Has anyone else ever experienced similar complications?
Posted in these groups: Screen shot 2015 03 15 at 2.13.20 pm PTSD
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LTC John Shaw
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MSgt Steven Holt, NRP
This is normal, people make unintentional mistakes while attempting to provide information.
We don't have a perfect memory and trama/past trama will impact how we recall current and past events including inserting past event recollection into the current event and visa versa. We are human and investigators understand that personal recall is prone to inaccuracy even while seemingly credible in court and preferred by juries.
I have been surprised to find in my counseling and researching of events that I recalled some aspects inaccurately.
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MSgt Steven Holt, NRP
MSgt Steven Holt, NRP
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Thanks LTC John Shaw. Please read my explanation on SFC David Hawk's response. I'm having a very difficult time reconciling the vivid images I have with what the other witnesses are stating.
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TSgt Dawn Premock
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I have had it happen. The doctor said my brain was mixing the events up because of the flashback.
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SFC David Hawk
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Yeah, I was behind a couple vehicles that collided into each other. I pulled over and stopped traffic with emergency cones I carry, and then went to help. Although not EMS I've had the Combat Lifesavers course and I just happened to have a Surgical bag with me. I set two fractures with splints, and a few bandages. When the Police finally arrived my rendetion of the events was not the same as two other witnesses. After I was thanked by the EMS personnel that finally arrived, the Police took my statement, and I headed on down the road.

I know I relayed the event correctly, and I, to this day cannot believe I was so wrong.
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MSgt Steven Holt, NRP
MSgt Steven Holt, NRP
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That is my dilemma as well. We had a MVC where the vehicle was on fire (flames in the passenger compartment) with the driver still inside. I vividly remember breaking the window out and a deputy reached in to open the locked door. I can see myself reaching in with the deputy to pull the driver out and to safety. Both the deputy and fire personnel agree I did break the window but state I "froze" and did not touch the patient until after safely away from the vehicle.

I have a hard time reconciling something I can see so clearly yet apparently never happened.
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