Saturday, January 31, 2009

DeJa Vu...Why I do this

Had my first MVA (motor vehicle accident) response today.
I usually don't go on them, because I'm a fat old lady and running, jumping, wading, lifting, sweeping and carrying while weighing 40 lbs of fire turnouts is better left to the young bucks. And I never started out to BE an EMT. Was just taking the Paramedic courses to make me a better midwife, you know.

But something today told me to go. So I listened...
Boy, was I glad I did! Got to the station. I don't get a key, cuz I'm still a pro-bee. The other firefighter meeting me at the door? A pro-bee, too. We wait about 90 seconds...and the chief shows up. WHEW.

Run to the back of the station to get my turnouts on. Mine went in the last available space...near the coffee pot. I keep one flap of my turnout pants over my right boot to protect it from stray coffee grounds.
RATS! Forgot to wear socks. Gonna be sorry by the time I get home in these steel-toed boots.
Get it all on fast as I can and do my best imitation of a jog back toward the front of the station. Firefighter in my way. Chief yellin' out the window of the rescue "JANEAN, MOVE IT!"

Dodge the firefighter, hurl myself in the back door. Wait...I'm the only one in here besides the driver and the chief. It's 11am on a Saturday morning. WHERE IS EVERYBODY?

As we take off out the bay, command calls for additional ambulances, put lifeflight on standby.
Whereupon, this fat old lady starts into fervent prayer as we scream down the center yellow line, lights and sirens. "Please, God, Please, God, Please, God. Make me capable. Please make me capable. I only want to help"!

Hop out the rescue. Highway is blocked. Passing on a blind corner is a bad thing. Especially for the poor couple heading the other direction who were just merrily going to visit family and now will spend the rest of the day if not the rest of the week in the hospital.
Command sends me to the most critically injured. Chief is there. I suddenly go blank. Standing on the shoulder of the road looking down into the ditch at the SUV I holler "CHIEF! Where do you want me?"

Well, he looks at me like I'm insane. But directs me to go around the rig, get in the back seat and hold C-spine on the driver. So here I am, dressed like a yellow pillsbury dough boy, jumping down into the ditch, wading across the ditch and squeezing in the back passengers door.
OH Praise the LORD, they had the middle seat laid down! That makes it much easier.

"Hello, Sir. My name is Janean and I'm with Podunk Rescue. Gonna hold on to your head here. Can you tell me where it hurts?"
He's worried about his lady. He's worried about his dogs. He's worried about his car. He's worried about his sister. He can't find his cell phone to call her. It was on his hip...that just happened to be the point of impact.
So I promise him I will try to find it AFTER we get him out.

Which takes thirty minutes, several firefighters and a few pieces of heavy equipment.

But we got him out. And up the bank. And into the ambulance. I wish I would have put oxygen on him. I wish I would have thought to lay his seat back sooner. I wish I'd have at least put a pulse oximeter on his finger. But I couldn't let go of his head. And no one else seemed inclined to do so.
And he was talking to me. We were about the same age. Found out where he lived. Thanked him for having the back seats down. He laughed and said he'd make sure and arrange for that next time.

Then we agreed there better NOT be a next time.

As they were loading him into Big City Ambulance one, I found the three pieces of his cell phone under his mangled twisted drivers door. Managed to hold them together long enough to call his family and tell them he was going to the Big, Big city Hospital.
Then found his lady's parents rushing through the crowd and gave them his muddy little chunked up phone.

Stood there for a minute beside the rescue. Put away the equipment. Now what? I should be doing something to help. Chief suggests I grab a broom. So I do. Sweepin up the pieces of plastic, glass, CD's, papers, metal...

I think they will all be fine. Chief says I did good for my first time. I don't think I did. I could have done more. Should have done more. Maybe just wish I could have done more...

But I sure was sweatin' by the time I got back to the station. Think I lost about 10 lbs of water weight today.

DeJa Vu...
My mom calls.
She just called this morning! What's up? I haven't talked to her in two weeks.

My uncle was in a head on accident this morning. Truck crossed the center line into his lane. His airbag deployed.
Mom was telling me about his injuries and I got the goose bumps.

The exact same time this morning I was holding the head of an injured man as the result of a head on accident...
Another volunteer rescuer in a city fifty miles away was holding the head of my uncle...
Both men have the exact same injuries. Both men survived because of their airbags. Both men were rescued and comforted by volunteer EMT's who went when they much rather would have stayed home.

To the Rescuer who held my uncles' head... You Rock, Brother!

Pay it forward...

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