It was around nine p.m. and the three of us that worked on Squad 9 that shift were sitting in the living quarters of our fire station watching some sports game with our feet propped up in our lay-z-boy recliners and taking our usual cat naps from the full day of nothing that we had done. Little did I know that what was about to happen would change my outlook on life in a few short minutes. At the end of the night while I am sitting here writing this piece I have found that I am a believer in everything happens for a reason.
The tones drop for a 10-46, which is a wreck with entrapment. The three of us run for the truck and put on our gear for the call that is a routine for my truck. As we barreled down the downtown streets with our fancy flashing lights, our loud air horns, and our ear-piercing siren, my lieutenant and I prepared ourselves with our rubber gloves and dug out the jump bag from under the fire truck seat. During our ride through town we were updated that one patient was still trapped in the car and was in critical condition. This elevated our routine car door popping to a serious life or death situation.
Upon arrival I did not see any car on the road. L. T. as we call him asked over the radio where the car and patient was located. The response was that the car was over the embankment. I immediately grabbed the Jaws and ran down the hill. Just as I reached the car the girl inside looked me in the eyes and said, “Please help me. I have a baby.” I started thinking to myself, “Where is the baby?” As I went to ask her the question I saw her eyes roll back into her head. I started yelling over the radio that there was a baby and that she was coding on us. I used the Jaws to pop the mangled door to free her. At the same time medics began to work on her while the rest of my crew looked for a baby.
After the patient was extricated we started CPR on her in an effort to revive the young female. All attempts failed and unfortunately she did not survive. She died right in front of my eyes and right below my hands. Meanwhile the search for the baby came up empty handed and was ended by the Sheriffs Office who had the driver in custody who had told them that he and the babies mother that had passed away had just dropped her off at the grandparents house. While carrying the girl up the steep embankment in a stokes basket with the eyes that I had watched roll back into her head now looking me in the eyes I knew that there was now a baby without a mother to raise it.
Now that I am back at the station tonight I have learned that the driver had been drinking and ran the car off the road. He was uninjured and was in custody at the local jail. Every time something like this happens there are many thoughts that run through a firefighters head after they return to the station. Some that ran through my mind were, “If I had only put my gear on a second faster” and “If we didn’t have to slow down for that red light maybe, just maybe, I could have gotten there sooner and saved her life.” I have been thinking and decided that everything happens for a reason. Even if I had done these things, the girl probably would have still died. The driver decided to drink and drive which in return he now has to live with the fact that he has killed someone and his child now has no mother and probably will not have a father there either if he receives a murder sentence. The mother died for her mistake of riding with a drunk driver. Finally the only good thing that I have thought of tonight is that the two parents dropped the baby off at the grandparents before the drama unfolded. Someone was watching out for that baby and it was dropped off for a reason, so that it could finish its life. Why I was chosen to have to watch this young girl die before me I am not sure but one thing is certain, it happened for a reason. I may not figure it out for a while but when I do I am sure that it will be a good one.
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