Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Spirit

Ah, Christmas is upon us once again. Oh Joy. I could write about the rampant consumerism or the dog eat dog, me first performances at the store checkouts. But I won't. I could write about the two women we attended in the shopping centre car park on Thursday who had ended up in a hair pulling, hissing, tangled heap on the ground until the security guards pulled them apart and tried to ascertain who actually saw the empty car parking space first. These women would now have scratches and bruises to show off to their kids over the Christmas dinner. Hey mum pass me the gravy and tell me what Christmas really means to you. Or the guy at the police station who had now suddenly become "unconscious" after being told that being 3 x over the legal blood alcohol limit was "not kewl", oh and trying to outrun a highway patrol vehicle in your Kia hatch was genius, pure genius. On a positive note, the police sergeant did seem to be genuinely amused at how much faith this guy had in his little piece of South Korean automotive history. I was also amused at his attempts to not fall off the chair and hit the floor while being "unconscious". His miraculous recovery after being told he was going to lose his licence regardless of whether he stayed "unconscious" or not, was simply a Christmas miracle. I could write about many of these things, but I wont. Because I am determined that all those mean spirited, selfish people out there are not going to dampen my Christmas spirit. I have a box of shortbread on the dash of the ambulance, some tinsel on the grille and a big smile on my face.

Have a good and safe Christmas all.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Unrestrained selfishness

From 3 pm to about 4.30pm is I believe one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. Especially around schools. Mums and dads and carers and grandparents and siblings and friends all rushing to get to school to pick up the kids, all running late, all distracted, all worrying about everything except driving.

So today right about the time the school bell sounds, we got sent as the closest available car (yes dual car response was cancelled way earlier in the day) so its just us to a car accident. A car has made a right hand turn across two lanes of traffic and got collected by a vehicle driving up the inside lane that "came outta nowhere". The driver was ok and was immediately telling us he had not been able to see past the mini-bus that was in the middle lane - but had gone blindly across anyway. I have to admit I was not really that interested in what he had to say. It was hot and it was his 4 year old son who was still sitting in the front passenger seat looking small and scared that had my interest. His passenger door had taken the full impact and nobody seemed to be paying him any attention.

We spoke to everyone involved and then asked if we could please have anther ambulance to transport the driver of the other vehicle who had some muscular neck pain. After a long pause - long enough for me to mutter to myself "its not that hard a question is it?!" the dispatcher finally and reluctantly offered us a car from about 20 minutes away. Yes please, that'll have to do. Thankfully the little boy was ok, he was only shaken but I wanted him checked out at a hospital anyway. I offered dad and his son a trip to hospital but he insisted he would get his wife to pick them both up and then head straight to the hospital. I gave dad a lecture about the danger of putting small kids in the front seat of cars, especially with airbags that are designed for adults. He mumbled some excuse at me and went back to ringing his wife.

The other ambulance arrived and we handed over the driver of the other car to the ALS crew. We pulled the ambulance off the main road and completed some paperwork while waiting for the wife to appear. Dad and son sat in our ambulance in the air-conditioning while the police arranged a tow truck. After a while a black Ford pulled up abruptly in the side street behind us. I got out and went to reassure the presumably anxious wife that her 4 year old son was ok. Neither she nor the 2 other primary school age kids in the car were wearing seatbelts. I was incredulous. Then when her first question was about whether her husband's car was still drivable, I was angry.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Ignorance is bliss

Yesterday while looking for the Christmas decorations, I found a box of faded ECG strips in my garage that I had collected when I was a student paramedic. I remember that I kept many of them at the time because they looked "unusual" or "funny looking". Looking at many of them now (with just a little more knowledge and experience behind me) and I find myself wincing and thinking how blissfully unaware I was of what was in front of me at the time. All the "What ifs" that now race through my head when I look at these old bits of paper... yikes!