1. #1
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    Feb 2004
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    I'm here just for TwistedCopper!
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    Bad Way to Start a Morning

    So, yesterday morning, I was going out to the Jeep to grab my cigs when the Police Chief came flying by. He saw me, slammed on his brakes, and squealed the tires in reverse up into the drive. He yelled, "Get in!" I know I must've had a mix of puzzlement and fear in the look I shot back at him, so he said it again, only with a few expletives thrown in for effect. So, I hopped in the passenger side. As we pulled out into the street, I could see the train stopped across the road a block south of my house and knew immediately what he wanted me for. I had retired from EMS in 2000, but everyone in town still comes to me for help, since I was the only paramedic in town. We got to the crossing and he started driving along the tracks to the NW. After about 400 yds or so, we found the car....wedged completely under a tanker full of grain alcohol, the roof sheared off, the woman driver unresponsive. My first concern was the tanker full of highly flammable grain alcohol. We both backed off and waited for the fire department to get there. Fortunately the tanker was intact, not leaking. By then the EMS crew from our town and from Sedgwick County were both on scene, so I stepped back and let them do their jobs. By the time they got her loaded on the spine board and into the ambulance, she was alert and talking to them. She had massive face and head trauma, but I was more concerned by her low blood pressure. I wanted so bad to jump in there and get the two large-bore IV's started, fearing she was bleeding out internally. They hauled her the few blocks across town to the ball diamonds at the grade school where the air ambulance was already waiting. 12 minutes later, they'd made the flight to Wichita (25 miles away) and were already in the trauma room with her. I don't know how she's doing, but it stayed on my mind all day yesterday. I had to call my mom and tell her, because the woman worked for my mom at the nursing home here in town. The crossing is only marked by reflective cross-bucks, and the train was pulling a string of black tankers. It was around 5:30am, so it was dark and she just never even saw the cars......

    ......sometimes I wish I'd never even been a paramedic in a small town.

  2. #2

    Re: Bad Way to Start a Morning

    Kudos for doing what you could and VERY GOOD on putting your saftey first, I know you said you were on teh dept for a long time and it is nice to see that the trainning has stayed with you about not making your self part of the problem. I know what you mean when you have a call like that, even if your not on the dept anymore everyone still looks up to you for help, and it will not change. All I can do is to say you did a good thing even if you were not able to do much, you were able to comfort the rest of the people at the scene by your presence. I had a very busy morning today. I had just gotten to bed, and swear my eyes were only closed a few minutes when pager when off for a fire at the BP gas station. Well to cut it short I just got back from the scene with little sleep. But am very pumped now. Not because of the fire, but because I logged into jeepz, and seen your post. Again Kudos to you SParky let me know if you need anything.
    Laterz,
    Laph
    ********************

  3. Re: Bad Way to Start a Morning

    So, she hit the train while it was at a stand still?
    I think the railroads should have to put up cross bars at every public crossing. The rural crossings are the worst.

    I don't know what just made me think of this, but have you ever seen that Faces of Death video where a woman pedestrian carrying a bag of groceries gets struck by a train? It's one of the worst accidents I have ever seen.
    Safety yellow and Handicap blue CJ with 5.3 Vortec/TH400/Tons/Atlas/Roks/Locks and Airshocks.
    1622 Miles from Moab.

  4. #4

    Re: Bad Way to Start a Morning

    Being a small town paramedic is rough, I have several friends in the emergency/rescue game and they've had to pull several of our other friends bodies out of various accidents. I could do it as long as it was strangers, but I couldn't handle it being friends, which is why I decided to get my excitement playing with fire instead.
    Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit
    http://www.myspace.com/randallrandazzle

  5. #5

    Re: Bad Way to Start a Morning

    Quote Originally Posted by redrooster
    So, she hit the train while it was at a stand still?
    I think the railroads should have to put up cross bars at every public crossing. The rural crossings are the worst.

    I don't know what just made me think of this, but have you ever seen that Faces of Death video where a woman pedestrian carrying a bag of groceries gets struck by a train? It's one of the worst accidents I have ever seen.
    Faces of Death has nothing on Being a Emt/Fire Fighter. You get to see some stuff that you would have never been able to imagine. The thing that keeps you going is thinking of the ones you were able to help and make a differance for. It is hard when you have serveral bad calls in a row, you can't help but to think on about some of the calls (even the ones you know you can't do a thing for but comfort if lucky) what could you have done different. But it goes with the job, It is nothing like what the ER doctors or nurses see because, we are the ones that have to get the patent out and "package" them for transport the hospital. The ones that Mess with you the most are any thing that deals with Kids.
    ********************

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Clovis, California, United States
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    953

    Re: Bad Way to Start a Morning

    That's why I didn't follow my pursuit to be a highway patrol officer. I loved every aspect of the job except thinking about being the first responder to an accident involving a child.
    '01 TJ, 4.0/5spd
    6" Rock Krawler X-Factor Long Arm, 35" BFG M/T's
    4:88's, ARB's

    BOHICA!

  7. Re: Bad Way to Start a Morning

    Quote Originally Posted by redrooster
    So, she hit the train while it was at a stand still?
    I think the railroads should have to put up cross bars at every public crossing. The rural crossings are the worst.

    I don't know what just made me think of this, but have you ever seen that Faces of Death video where a woman pedestrian carrying a bag of groceries gets struck by a train? It's one of the worst accidents I have ever seen.
    I saw one of those videos once when I was just a young kid and let me tell you, it freaked me out SO bad...I left this place and sat in my car shaking for an hour before I could drive. I think those should be illegal... it's just disgusting.. and there is no reason for anyone to ever see those things. I know people do certain jobs for a living where they have to see those things, but for the average Joe...God... it's just crazy. I had nightmares about that for a long time. Just thinking about it right now just makes me really uncomfortable. I am very grateful for the people who do that kinda work... the police and EMT's and whatnot. They are really special people. I am sure it's not easy for them either, but where would we be without them??

  8. Re: Bad Way to Start a Morning

    My grandad is a railroad buff and used to do the Operation Save aLife training for school age kids. They had some videos they showed of cars that had been struck by trains. Some were aftermath of accidents and some were of people trying to beat the train to the crossing. One in particular was filmed by a conductor as he kept spotting a Mazda at a few intersections in a small town. The last scene was a flash of the Mazda cutting in front of him, then all you see is an engine bouncing like a basketball out through a field.
    Safety yellow and Handicap blue CJ with 5.3 Vortec/TH400/Tons/Atlas/Roks/Locks and Airshocks.
    1622 Miles from Moab.

  9. #9
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    Re: Bad Way to Start a Morning

    Quote Originally Posted by redrooster
    So, she hit the train while it was at a stand still?
    No, it was moving. Probably only 20-25 mph. She got the 14th car behind the engine. It teaches a valuable lesson, though. Always slow down at any crossing. She has travelled through that crossing twice a day for 3 or 4 years and never seen a train. They just changed their schedule this week and started rolling through there an hour earlier.....she just assumed there would be no train at that time of the morning, since she'd never seen one before.

    She's been upgraded to fair condition now. Used to be, I could call any of the hospitals in the area and get the full scoop on injuries, treatments, etc. by telling them who I was. Now that HIPA is in effect, I can't even find out if they are a patient there anymore. Just getting what little info I can from media and friends now.

  10. #10
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    Re: Bad Way to Start a Morning

    Quote Originally Posted by Abutterfly
    I saw one of those videos once when I was just a young kid and let me tell you, it freaked me out SO bad...I left this place and sat in my car shaking for an hour before I could drive. I think those should be illegal... it's just disgusting.. and there is no reason for anyone to ever see those things. I know people do certain jobs for a living where they have to see those things, but for the average Joe...God... it's just crazy. I had nightmares about that for a long time. Just thinking about it right now just makes me really uncomfortable. I am very grateful for the people who do that kinda work... the police and EMT's and whatnot. They are really special people. I am sure it's not easy for them either, but where would we be without them??
    In my paramedic school, we had to watch 8 hours of videos and still pictures of accidents like that as part of our "desensitization" training. Nothing ever bothered me while I was on the job, it was only after I got home that I had to lock myself in the bathroom, hug my knees, and cry for hours. I still have nightmares about the things I've seen a couple times a week, and still see it every time I close my eyes at night.

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