Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mayhem & Chaos

... was not only in full swing right here in town, but elsewhere today as well. I arrived to work to hear the tail end of a medical; shortly after I heard dispatch for an accident without injury that quickly turned into an arrest; a domestic, another arrest, another medical and a missing teen. I know I was glad to leave work today and I wasn't dispatching, I was 'office working' -- for five short hours.

Geesh. My five hour work day flew by and I was simply listening to the goings on. I am fairly certain none of us would want to complete any of the paperwork that accompanies a day like today.

I left work and as I pulled up to my driveway, about to turn in, I thought, "go to the grocery store." So I did. Easy enough. Right? It's off to Danvers I go ...

I arrive. Park. Head in. Remember I left my green bags in the car, went back out. Got the bags. Back in. I have a thing about wanting to use them and forgetting the damn things every time I shop. But at five cents off per bag used ... heck, I'll take all the five cents I can get!

Sauntering is what you'd call my shopping trip today. I was on my own, Muzak lulling me into ridiculously expensive purchases -- but dang it! I forgot the mozzarella for the eggplant dish I want to make. Eggplant. $2.99 per pound. All varieties. Yikes! Maybe I don't want to make that dish after all.

One hundred and eighteen dollars later I was helping the 'bagger' finish packing up all that expensive stuff and the cashier was not being very nice to this very nice lady with some obvious special needs. Man. Those of you who know me, know how much I hate that.

I left after my thank yous to the bagger and my glare at the cashier. Really. She should know better. And while I'm thinking about that and sashaying my not so cute any more, very old butt out the door, I'm thinking: I should start a job coaching business ... except I don't have the necessary degree(s) for that and just how would I accomplish that and how much would it cost and hey buddy stop I'm in a cross walk and if you hit me and what is that noise?

The distinct whir of the Med Flight helicopter! That's what it is! I looked and watched in awe as the pilot maneuvered that helicopter into the tiniest landing spot I've seen yet. Between pine trees and phone lines and electrical cables and a building. All right next to Old Route 1 in Danvers. It was a Wow! moment because I am never unimpressed by the skill of the pilot and the sheer power of those machines. Wow!

I quickly loaded the groceries to the back of the car and drove further up into the parking lot. My way out to home anyway. Pulled over and parked. Got out with my camera and stood with some other looky-loos. There were fire trucks, an ambulance, a helicopter and a whole bunch of public safety types (okay, firefighters, police officers, EMTs and paramedics) I took what pictures I could from across the four lanes of highway, a median strip and two break down lanes while keeping one eye on the somewhat light, but still very fast, traffic as it went by. We looky-loos were standing well off the roadway on a grassy area on the parking lot, but you can never be too careful.

Some days when I see an accident or I am witness to an event such as this, I get a bit caught up in the moment. That may come from having been an EMT/firefighter for a number of years as well as being a dispatcher for so long. Black humor used to be my bed mate after particularly horrendous calls ... at least until I could process the information.

I won't pretend that calls and incidents don't bother me any longer. They do. I remember well specific calls that had huge impact upon me as a person and also made me a better public servant. I am better able to compartmentalize and sort through after all these years. I now recognize that I don't need to know the whys of. I just need to know the okays of.

While taking a few photos of the copter and a short video of the take off, I wondered just what had happened? Was this a child? An adult? What kind of accident or injury or illness brought this person to this spot in time? Fate? A larger plan than I? Surely one of the two.

My good thoughts and a prayer went out and up for this individual ... and their family and friends. And for all the public safety workers who put themselves in harms way each and every day.

Across the highway, the Med Flight copter landed at the State Police Headquarters.

Not the best video. Not the worst.


D said...

wow... that was impressive .. he went high enough just in time to see him over the bus. ::grin:: or was that your video shooting skill. Hope everyone is ok

Lisa :-] said...

I din't realize you had been and EMT/firefighter. How exciting is that? Some day we'll have to sit down with a cup of coffee and you can tell me all the other fascinating things about yourself...

Lisa said...

That is wonderful to whisper up a prayer for someone during an emergency... I think that is a great idea about becoming a job coach! Especially if you can specialize in a certain area of expertise such as customer service.