Friday, October 24, 2008

Too Drunk To...

Circa mid-1990's

The tones knifed through the quiet air of the squad building. It was the beginning of summer and I was enjoying the warm night air with my a few of my compatriots, when the call came in.

"It's been quiet all day." Jake replied, walking to the dispatch phone to acquire the info for the call.

"Too quiet for a Friday night in fact," I replied, "I hope you didn't just start something when you said that."

Pausing for a second to note the sarcasm in my voice, Jake wrote the call information on the board and made his way over to the rig.

"So are you going to tell us what and where, or do we have to guess?" Bill questioned, some agitation behind his voice.

"Sorry, MVA, lower main. Car into pole." Jake responded, now picking up his pace. It was as the seriousness of the call now dawned on him as he heard his own voice.

"What?!" I blurted, falling in behind the two senior members as they made their way to the rig.

It was my second year as a member. And even though we were a small town rescue squad, I had been apart of some serious and heartbreaking. Even with a year of calls under my belt, I could still feel the rush as I climbed in the back before the old gas powered battle wagon, pulled out. The once quiet small town night now disrupted by the whine of the siren.

"PD is backed up so they'll be a little late getting there." Jake said, grabbing the portable radio and the jump bag.

No one thought this unusual. A large portion of our calls went with PD back up. Even when the officers assistance was needed.

The trip was short. Two lights and several blocks later, we arrived on the scene of lower Main Street. Unlike upper Main, littered with its well lit houses and stores, lower Main was dedicated more to industry and had no real illumination. Hosting a sand and cement company, this road was always full of large trucks speeding by. Making work on this part of Main Street, very dangerous.

Jake called on scene and the wreck came into sight. There was indeed a car into a pole. Smoke gushed from the now mangled hood and the telephone pole leaned precariously to one side, taking the full force of the impact.

"2 is out. Requesting PD and fire for the assist. Will advise further." Jake relayed over the radio.

Soon the air was filled with the sounds of the fire department overheads. Signaling the membership of the need for their services.

Jake reached over and began to open the door when the driver of the car fell out of his door and ran over to the ambulance!

"Here we go!" Bill shouted, jumping out from behind the wheel to intercept this bloody mess of a man.

By the time I reached the group, they were walking back to the rig. Jake gave me the, "this is a wast of time", look as he passed. Followed by the strong smell of alcohol.

Sitting the man down on the stretcher, the senior members began the usual assessment of the patient. After a minute of sluridly answering their questions, the patient sat bolt upright and began to scream!

"Oh My God!!!! I hit someone!!" Blood now pouring from his open wound on his forehead.

Jake and Bill looked at each other before Bill asked, "You hit someone? Where?!"

"They were standing right in front of the pole! It might have been a child! They seemed close to the ground!"

Without another word, the three of us ran from the back of the rig to the smoking mass of metal!

"Chris, shine the light here." Jake ordered, trying to look under the front of the hood.

After a minute of looking, Jake emerged with a red rage that was pinned between the car and the pole.

"That's not a shirt from some kid is it?" I asked, a lump in my throat beginning to form.

After a second, Jake began to laugh. I must admit I was dumbfounded as to what part of this situation was funny.

"Aaa, I take it that's a no?" I asked, not sure whether to follow along or prepare myself for something gruesome. Or perhaps Jake was getting burnt out.

"Chris, this rage has been hanging here for as long as I've been a member." Jake relieved.

Relief now passing through my body, I was able to take a deep breath once again. "You think he's just so drunk he thought it was a shirt?"

"That sounds about right to me."

The senior guys continued to laugh and made they way back to the truck. I stood up, careful to make sure that my shaking knees would still support me.

Jake and Bill returned to the back of the truck and the now sleeping patient on the cot. After seeing that they were back, the driver sat up again and, in a concerned voice, continued to ask how the kid was.

"Sir, Jake began, with obvious trouble attempting to contain his laugh, "it wasn't a kid. You hit a pole with a rage hanging from it."

After a second of silent thought, the driver began to cry.

"Oh my God, I can't believe I killed a kid!!!"

Stunned the three of us exchanged bewildered glances, not sure how to respond.

"I guess he's too drunk to understand." Bill said, voice full of conjecture.

"Services him right. Shouldn't be drinking and driving anyway," Jake spat.

"Maybe, he'll learn his lesson." I said, shrugging my shoulders.

Other than me, the names of this memory have been changed to protect the innocent, lol.

No comments: