One fine day, TDW-Mark II and I were at home, doing some sort of chore or another. Our doorbell rang, and I answered it, to find the neighbor girl, a seven year old classmate of Grand Daughter Number Two, standing there with her three year old younger sister, hands clutched one in the other.
“What can I do for you?” I asked.
“My grandpa fell, and he hurt himself, he’s not moving. Can you help us?”
I hollered, “Honey! Emergency at the neighbors!”, and headed out the door, TDW-Mark II watching me turn the corner into their yard.
The girls led me into their home, where I saw an elderly gentleman (now, THAT would be the pot calling the kettle over-the-hill!) prone on the floor, at the foot of the stairs, with a pool of blood about his head. The girls stood by, anxious appearing, until TDW-Mark II appeared, and led them into the kitchen, and attempted to distract them from the front of the house drama.
I asked the gentleman if he was OK, and his answer did not inspire confidence. Looking over the scene, multiple bad scenarios played out in my imagination, all leading to the conclusion that I did not want to manage this scene alone, and I really, reeally wanted EMS here, pronto.
I dialed up dispatch, and abruptly realized that I did not know the house number.
Fortunately, all those years of Street! Medic! Experience! started to pay off, as I realized that the house would have the number displayed prominently on the front. I walked out front to familiarize myself with that little detail. Oh, yes. AND the name of the street one block East of my residence.
You don’t have to say it, I already know. Bad Stretcher Ape! Situational awareness fail!
So, anyhow, I shared my new-found wisdom with dispatch, and summarized what I knew. She assured me that our little town EMS would be on the way, and then proceeded to start into pre arrival care instructions. I played along, until she paused, and I observed, “So, I’m an ER nurse. he is breathing, he is speaking, sort of, and I am reluctant to move him in any way, because it appears that he fell down the stairs.”
“Oh. Right. Well, if things change, call us right back!”
“Yes, ma’am, will do.”
The medics arrive shortly thereafter, and I reported the little that I knew. The one medic was surprised. “You don’t know any of his history?”
“Nope. We’re the neighbors. The little girl came over and got us, when he fell.”
At about that time, the mother returned home, and TDW-Mark II filled her in on what we knew. We turned the kids over to her, said our goodbyes, and departed.