Behind-the-scenes of Black Cloud.

What's a black cloud?

Not me, apparently.

Every profession has their colloquialisms. The world of EMS is filled with them. So far, I'm what's known as a "white cloud." To illustrate that idea, let me tell you about the last ambulance rideout I was on.

I got to the station at 0600. This was Medic 14 - the second busiest truck in the city. We didn't get a call until 1100. That pattern proceeded pretty much the whole day. I napped. A lot. 

I'm a white cloud, you see.

A black cloud, then, is the opposite. Sometimes they don't get back to the station at any point during their shift. Call after call after call. Trauma activations, cardiac arrests, all that scary stuff. Some medics refer to these these as "bad calls." Most refer to them as "good calls." 

That's what a black cloud is in the EMS world. For the rest of us, it evokes a sense of unease, of impending trouble, of adversity that threatens to darken the rest of our days.

My girlfriend, Alex, understands what this means. See, she wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for two paramedics from Austin-Travis County EMS. Without Amber Price and Jason Castleberry, she would be dead. 

When Alex and I talk about it, we call it The Accident. It needs no other clarification. It has, in many ways, become the center of gravity around which our lives revolve. It is the black cloud that we try to break through every day.

That's what this film explores. It is not only a documentary about the men and women of Austin-Travis County EMS, it is an investigation into the emotional cost of trauma.

I can't wait to show it to you.