If you have experienced this you can appreciate it…
You wake up slowly, you’re dazed, with blood trickling down your brow and you taste it in your mouth. You try to move, everything hurts! Just blinking your eyes takes more energy than you have. After a few minutes you become aware of the sounds around you, the blinker blinking, the wind gently blowing, and the crunching sound of the glass around you as you shift your weight. What you also notice, is that you are upside down. As the waves of nausea pass over you, you struggle to contain the panic inside. You know you have to get out!
The first battle, is to undo the seat belt and with swollen tingling hands this task takes forever. After the first few tries you pause in frustration. Through the haze you hear someone trying to talk to you…. “Hang on, help is coming. Don’t move!” At that moment you freeze and your head continues to pound. Taking deep breaths to calm your nerves never seemed like such punishment before. Soon you hear sirens getting louder as they approach.
When the ambulance, fire truck, and police arrive there is instantly commotion. Through the echos of doors slamming and people talking your head begins to buzz with all the noise. You hear footsteps rhythmically pounding over the pavement, crunching through the glass and debris until you see big boots and a uniform kneeling, and then a face. That wonderful moment when you no longer feel alone. You are still scared, but God has granted your request and help is here. He introduces himself “Hi my name is Shane, I am with the fire department and I am here to help you”. As he begins to assess the situation a team of firefighters work to get you out of the car and on to a back board.
Once on the backboard they strap you down! Your head is strapped down, along with your waist and feet. It is so uncomfortable! You can’t move, or shift or anything! Of course that’s the point, but you feel so helpless and so ugly. You face is puffy, and between the blood, snot, and tears you feel like a mess! Once on the backboard they graciously pass you over to the ambulance crew. Who once again introduce themselves “Hi my name is Mel and this is my partner Shaun, we are with D.P. ambulance and are here to help you”!After introductions they begin to ask you questions. During that time they assess your airway, breathing and circulation. Then you get loaded into the ambulance and begin your journey to the hospital.
Between, the movement of the ambulance, the sound of the siren, and the questions you begin to feel relief but reality also sinks in. You were just in a car accident and were injured! As he continues to check you for injuries he also puts in an iv for fluids. Breathing is not helping at this point and the nausea starts in again. You hope that you make is to the hospital before you puke in the ambulance! No such luck, what was in your stomach comes hurling up! Through the chunks you apologize “I’m so sorry…”! The paramedic remains calm and reassuring “It’s ok, this isn’t the first time”. It’s a good thing, you would feel embarrassed but it’s to late for that. Your hair is matted, and your still pounding head remains strapped to the headboard. The blood that was once dripping is now crusted to your face, and the makeup you dared to wear is now mostly gone and the leftover bits are smeared all over your face. What a pretty site.
It doesn’t seem to matter! He continues his small talk in a reassuring tone. In those short scary moments you have developed a bond! In one of the worst moments in your life someone was there and helped you and is telling you everything is going to be OK, and you believe them!
Once you arrive at the hospital they unload you and begin to tell the staff there a myriad of numbers, which apparently are your vitals. Once they get you settled in with the nurses they say goodbye, do some paper work and are called away to another emergency to do the same process all over again.
Though this is one of the worst days of your life…it is just another day at work for them!
Those that work on an ambulance are worth their weight in gold! They like other emergency services are highly trained and are so important to our communities. Like any organization there are different levels of training and requirements. Two types of personnel are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) and Paramedics.
No matter what your title I just want to say “Thank You” to emergency medical personnel. The jobs that you do are so very important to our communities and not acknowledged enough.