Here is another one, and i am feeling lazy so will no doubt skip punctuation protocols and just type away. names are changed to protect the guilty from embarassment.
Little richard was my partner for a couple of years. about 5ft 2 and bald, looked like a flesh-colored papa smurf,always seeking smurfette. had a dry sense of humor and the usual short guy attitude. i am 5ft 11. my back hurt the whole time we were partners,because of the heighth difference. i actually like richard,like a good pet, he sometimes amused me.
it was a dark and stormy night.
actually it was a misty early morning,shades of dawn still visible. damn i hate dawn. we arrived at the scene of a car vs railroad crossing gate. not just the gate, the nice little lady had driven head on into the large metal pole that holds the large crossing gate.
what i am going to tell you all happened in a minute or two, of course it takes longer than that to describe the events. and as usual, i was the unsung hero of the day. at least i wasnt the comic relief,that comes later.
we found a sheriff car, a police car, and the victims car upon our arrival.
the law enforcement cars were blocking traffic on both sides of the track. the ladies car was in(really, the hood was IN) the pole and blocking the train tracks. we left the rig, approached the policeman, who stated to us that a train was due by at any minute and they were not sure if the engineer had been notified of the blocked track. my initial thought was, I need to call my brother, he's never seen a train wreck!! (old joke). this was bad news for the nice little old lady, still trapped in her car.
I headed for the car and hollered at richard to grab a backboard and c-collar. when i reached the car, the LOL(little old lady) said she was ok, but could not open her door. i did a fast exam, no body parts hanging loose or missing, no, blood, she was alert and oriented, so far so good.
if you are unfamiliar with trauma, it is imperative to maintain proper c-spine position in all accident victims. in plain english, that means you hold their head and neck supported and in a straight line. thus the need for a backboard and c-collar(goes around the neck for support.)
the driver side door was jammed, thank goodness the window was open. I turned around to ask richard for some help. SURPRISE. no richard in sight. no ambulance in sight. What the &*&^%$.
I could hear and feel the train coming, sounded like it was moving slow, but i know it takes a long time to actually stop a long train. She had to be moved NOW. some times you have to take a chance for the patients best interest instead of going by the book. fortunately, she was a tiny LOL.
I was able to lean in the window, place my right arm along her back, and picked her up with my left arm, and pull her out through the window. as i looked up, i saw that the train was near, although going slow enough to stop before a crash. I still had a bad feeling.
no richard. no ambulance. a law enforcement officer, who was very large and buff(muscley) stood on the tracks facing the train and assumed the Superman position. Standing with head held high, left arm in a v on his hip, right hand raised in the air, and if to physically stop the train if it came that far. BIZAARE.
half day,half dawn, no richard ,no ambulance in sight. the whole scenerio became surreal, like a Dali painting. the train activated the signals.ding ding ding ding,right in my ear.
picture this, i am holding the LOL in my arms, dragging her tiny
feet in the gravel of the tracks, moving as far away as i can from the car, when, with a big crash, the entire crossing gate mechanism fell from the pole, landing right above the drivers seat, and smashing the roof down below the headrest. Really impressive it was. the LOLs eyes got big with awe, as she realized that just seconds earlier she had been sitting in that seat. WOW.
There i was, the hero. true story, honest. and she and i watched as the train came to a stop a few feet in front of supercop.
I hope i have taken you there in your mind. It is still a vivid memory in mine.
Richard walked up behind me, looked at the LOL, looked at the train, looked at the man in front of the train, still in position to serve as blocker. Then looked at the car. And what did he have to say? "Shucks, i missed all the fun"
Tall people are not allowed to maim short people. its a rule somewhere. too bad,cause i would have turned him into smurf pudding on the spot. no questions asked.
Where was the disappearing partner? He saw the same scenerio i did, and make a quick choice to move the ambulance down the block in case of a crash, because it was brand new. Really.
I saved the LOL from injury or death, got to see a person stop a train, and told the story to ANYONE who would listen. Richard was teased unmercifully in the EMS community for a while, which was a just punishment
Remember this all happened in slo-mo, in real time it went much faster.
Did the lol thank me? NO
Did the policmen acknowledge me? NO
Was Richard impressed? NO
OH well. I just took my hero cape to the dry cleaners and went about my day, as usual.
END OF STORY.
footnote--Richard and i have been friends since 1991,he now works as an ED tech in a local hospital,so i get to see him now and then when i am in ED as a patient, which is fairly often. He now does mission trips to Haiti once a year, my guess is as atonement!! I know i seem to be mocking the law enforcement officer for his actions, but i am honestly truely relating the event. He was an asset to our community for many years, and we occasionly came upon him doing CPR prior to our arrival. Sadly, he passed away last year from a terrible affliction, and he is missed. I think he was half asleep that morning, just like us, and didnt know what to do with his hands as he stood there. I know he did not think he could stop the train. Adds some laughs to my story though!!