Emergency Training, Learn by Doing...
June 12, 2010
A few days ago I was driving home in the night on remote dirt back roads and I came across a scary scene at an intersection. It's awkward to relate, but there might be something useful in it, so here goes.
There was a car in the intersection and a young woman got out of it and stood up in my headlight and she was covered in blood, tall and glamorous like in a Hollywood horror movie.
I pulled over and got out to help. She was babbling but seemed to only have a cut over her eye. I had her sit down along the road then got my flashlight and went to check for other people. The frogs were chirping nearby. The car was steaming.
She said she was by herself and was really stupid because she was talking on her cellphone when she lost control.
Her car looked like an IED had hit it. I saw pieces of it all down the side of the road where she'd been coming from, plus huge divots -- she'd endo'ed several times, shedding both bumpers and popping all tires, crushing most windows, ejecting all contents, etc.
When I went to call 911 on my cellphone a young guy pulled up in an SUV and in great alarm said he was the guy she was talking to on the phone.
The girl kept saying she's in so much trouble. I tried calming her by saying you can worry tomorrow but right now it's just great that she made it out. Indeed, I was so relieved that I didn't drive up on something much worse. It's funny how a bad thing can have a really good aspect. Forget about the car, you're lucky, try to relax, the next thing is to have a doctor look at you, everything else can wait.
He called his mom then we got a towel for her head. He said his mom just called Dispatch but no one answered. I asked if they were from around here and he said Yes and I said, Well, is there a hospital nearby? He said there was one 5 miles away. I said you'd better just take her right now and get her to a doctor, so away they went. And that was that.
I moved the bumpers and mirrors and other things (a Baby Stewy doll, a crushed cellphone) out of the road, took a couple pics, and left.
I never been around a lot of blood in a total surprise kind of way. That was my first scary accident. ...Stumbled on it at night, by myself, in the boonies. Yow.
I really appreciated EMT people at that moment.
But it's interesting how one goes into problem-solving mode even while resisting shock.
I'm sure that some basic emergency training would be a good idea.
I'm thinking that accidents have 3 phases:
1. You do your best to be safe and avoid an accident. You do everything you can to stay in control...for as long as you can...in any given situation.
2. If an accident does occur, you then start doing everything you can during it to avoid or reduce damage or injury.
3. After an accident you work on repair as fast as possible.
...And to me these 3 phases all seem unrelated. Like, you cannot worry about any of them in any other order or in relation to each other. Each one is totally absorbing then moves on to the next.
That's the main thing: there's no time for anything else during each phase.
If that young woman had stood up out of her car with a missing arm and geysering blood, I would've wanted to keel over, but I'm thinking that I would've grabbed a towel, run over and cinched it down around her and put her in my car then put the pedal to the metal to town. I'm not saying that would've been the best idea, but that alarm and action would've gone hand in hand. I mean, I'm squeamish, but I would've been very scared but also would have tried to do the right thing as if on autopilot. Maybe that's just how it works.
So it seems like emergencies are segmented. Maybe sickness is similar. You take it one step at a time: ...Try to avoid; try to reduce; if it happens, deal as best you can.
I phoned the hospital and cops the next morning and no one knew anything or cared.
Rear. (Ignore the ketchup.)
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