Christmas Eve MVA
This one time, at Band camp….no, wait: that doesn’t seem quite right….
Oh, yeah: TINS©, TIWFDASL©…(no, not altogether correct, either…). Well, I was NOT FDASL, rather I was visiting The Momette, in The Un-Named Maternal State, and, it being Christmas Season, I was shopping for Christmas presents for the family. Indeed, it was Christmas Eve (for am I not well prepared, and forward thinking? Well, no, not so much) when my brother, The Attorney, and I were attempting to find an open store for the Christmas Shopping, that I had not yet accomplished.
So, there I was, motoring down the highway, and my brother, a veritable fountain of trivia (as is his brother, come to think of it), observed, “They call this stretch of highway the Death Mile, because it narrows from 4 lanes to two, just ahead here, and there are a bunch of collisions right along here.”
How interesting. Just about that moment, I noted beacons in my rear view mirror, and moved to the right to allow a Maternal State Police Trooper to zoom past us at flank speed, siren wailing and beacons flashing. The Attorney commented, “He sure seems like he is in a hurry! Wonder why?”
A few seconds later, ANOTHER Maternal State Police Trooper zipped past us, at about Warp 8, similarly beaconing and sirening, and sped around the upcoming corner and off into the distance.
As we, ourselves, rounded the curve, I noted chaos, as one would normally find at the scene of a high speed collision. Indeed, it certainly appeared that there had been such a collision, with three cars scattered across several lanes, and the shoulders, of the roadway. I parked on the shoulder, clear of the debris, and alighted. Approaching one of the troopers, I introduced myself. “I’m an off duty medic from Da City, Can I help?”
The trooper looked over my shoulder, and pointed. “Yep. Talk to those guys, right there.”
I turned to see an ambulance stopping. I approached one of the medics, and repeated my spiel. He nodded toward one of the vehicles. “You take that car, my partner and I will take the other two.”
I whistled to get my brother’s attention, and directed him, “Get the medic bag in the back of my truck. It’s got that Medical Star on it. I’ll be over here.”
I approached the car, my brother running over and handing me my jump bag. I noted an adult male seated in the passenger seat, another adult male laid over, sideways from the driver’s seat, his head in the passenger seat occupant’s lap. He, the laid out guy, was not speaking. I saw the head sized divot in the windshield over the steering wheel, and supposed that might have something to do with that.
The guy seated in the passenger seat stated, “I don’t think he’s breathing!” I invited the passenger seat guy to move out of the vehicle, and assessed things myself. Yep, he was not breathing. Didn’t have a carotid pulse, either. I asked the recently moved passenger seat guy, “Do you know CPR?”
“Good. Get on his chest, I’ll ventilate him.”
My new friend set to chest compressing, and I dug my BVM (manual resuscitator) out of my bag, and began to ventilate our patient.
We resuscitated along for a good little while, until the arrival of a second ambulance heralded our relief. We continued CPR until the medics had cut off our patient’s coat (feathers everywhere!), initiated an IV, and began cardiac monitoring (VF, about as I had expected). Once all the technology was in place, we all four of us moved the patient onto their cot, and they took over from there.
I walked back to the truck, set my medic bag in the back, and approached one of the officers.
“Officer, do you need my contact information?”
He squinted at me. “Who are you?”
“I’m the medic from Da City, who worked that guy over there.”
He turned fully to me, and shook my hand. “Mister, gotta tell you, I’m really sorry I couldn’t talk to you before you left, because I really, really, want to tell you thank you for getting involved here, several states away from your home. Drive carefully, try to have a Merry Christmas!”
I was surprised, but said, “You’re welcome!”, and returned to my truck. I told my brother about my surprising conversation with the trooper. He looked at me, and finally asked, “You just don’t get it, do you?”
I had to admit that I didn’t.
“He just did you a tremendous favor. You just gotta know that, with a likely dead person in this collision, there is gonna be a huge trial, right?”
“And, you are a witness, right?”
Again, I “uh-huh’d” him.
“So, being a witness, you would be subpoenaed to testify, and would be required to comply with such an order of the court. Which means you would have to travel your happy ass across the country, and find accommodations, and then miss work while you were here, to testify. At no small expense, both directly as well as in lost income. Said subpoena cannot be served on ‘Sumdood, Da City, usedtabeamedic’, right?”
“Might be tough to serve.”
“Yep. That cop just thanked you, in certain and unmistakable terms, for your service to his community.”
He paused, and then looked at me as if he had never seen me before. “I watched you out there. You really, really looked like you knew what you were doing. I would have been totally lost, but you just stepped right up, and started working away. Pretty impressive!”
I shrugged, just a little embarrassed. “Not like I haven’t done the same thing like, I dunno, a couple of thousand times before, right?”