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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lessons Learned and Reaffirmed

Got dropped for a traffic accident, details unknown.

First unit arrives in the area, nothing found. How many callers? Just the one.

This is the same result we get when someone pulls over to tie down the junk in their pickup truck, or somehow has driven into a ditch but is able to self-extract before drawing too much attention. Other units on the way back off a bit.

Initial unit decides to go a few more miles to be sure.

Whoa. Good call.

First unit makes it just over one more mile, and then comes on the air reporting a car vs. semi accident, all lanes totally blocked, and with a fuel spill.

Those of us that backed off, un-backed off.

Lesson Reaffirmed: It isn't an unfounded call until proven to be unfounded.

Turned out there was no other car. All those bits of wreckage assumed to be the remains of a splattered passenger vehicle were actually from the truck. He just ran off the road, hit the hillside, then jacknifed back onto the roadway. Just the one patient, and though he's clearly had his bell rung and is bleeding from many superficial locations, he'll probably be fine. The truck cab ended up on the far side of the cargo trailer from the arriving medic, and both sides of the blocked roadway are essentially impassable to an ambulance cot. Not going to be easy to go around the trailer safely, but the vehicle is stabilized, upright, and secured, and there is some room in front of the trailer axles....

Lesson Learned: An ambulance cot, when fully lowered, just fits under some of those low-riding moving company cargo trailers - as long as there is room between the trailer axles and the bottom compartments.

We ran out of absorbent, as catching all the fuel from the nearly-full saddle tank was beyond our first-response capability. But wait, when we checked through the hole in the moving company's cargo trailer to perhaps identify potential hazards, it was found to be empty save for several bales of furniture padding blankets. Ding. We hauled a bunch of those out and laid them on the spill.

The haz mat cleanup contractors showed up, and approved of the method with a nod and a chuckle.

Lesson Reaffirmed: In a pinch, remember to think (and look) outside the ol' box. Or in this case inside the box.

Just another day of taking care of business, really, which is what we're here for.

Sorry for the previous drought of posts. I went overboard and ran out of creative things to write about. Not that I was ever creative before, or that this post is creative now. Blah blah blah. Y'all that still hang around and aren't tired of my act are so patient with me, and I appreciate that.


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