Ambushed and shot, bleeding from my face and eye I lay on the coffee table in the living room of the off-duty police officer who had carried me there. Shortly I’m in an ambulance and taken to the emergency room. I woke up the next day next to a police officer who had also been shot. He was in serious condition. There were two police officers guarding our semi-private two bed hospital room. They weren’t sure if someone was trying to kill me on purpose and thought it would be better to keep us in the same room.
Nearly two years later I’m in the rescue squad explorers, have my advanced first aid and CPR training. Soon I’d have my drivers license learner permit, for now my parents would drop me off at school. On the way to school we were slowed down by a small traffic build up that was very unusual. We couldn’t see far enough ahead to determine what was going on. The traffic was moving slowly but at a steady pace.
As we moved forward, me in the passenger seat I could see a motorcycle laying on the ground. A small gathering of maybe 4 or 5 bystanders were just standing there looking on. As we got closer I could see the full scene. The bystanders were looking at a man with a compound femur fracture, a thick large pool of blood was forming under his leg onto the street.
I told my dad to stop the car I had to help no one was doing anything but looking. He said I needed to get to school. I told him to look how much blood there was and said he was bleeding profusely and would die if something wasn’t done about it. There had to be at least a pint to pint and a half there. I said to dad the school was only a mile or so away I’d walk the rest of the way after the ambulance arrived.
I jumped out of the car and went to the cyclist side, dad drove off to make sure help was coming. He was semi conscious and not communicating. No first aid supplies on hand I followed my training and applied direct pressure to the femoral artery at the recommended direct pressure point. I was able to see an immediate reduction of blood oozing out of the fracture site. Wow, I thought to myself it’s working! Looking over the motorcyclist for more hemorrhaging or injuries it was the first time I noticed that this was a police motorcycle and officer.
My goodness I said to myself how long did it take me to see that. I must have been a little excited. Mostly inexperienced, by myself with no supplies, my adrenaline was up. The first police officer(Officer P) on scene knew me from the rescue squad because he would hang out at the station with us sometimes. I maintained direct pressure while he removed the downed officers gun-belt and secured the firearm. Soon after the ambulance arrived.
I explained what I knew and had done since my arrival and offered to get out of the way. The ambulance crew said I was doing fine and not to move away until instructed. They did what they needed to package him up for transport. As they did I got a chance to see the his face clearly and it was the officer who had carried me into his living room when I had been shot.
By now there were several police officers on-scene. With blood on my pants leg, a spattered shirt, my hands red and sticky Officer P loaded me into the patrol car then took me to school. I went to wash my hands and arms while the officer explained to the school staff why I was late. I was given a note excusing my tardiness for the teacher and sent to classes.
A short time later Officer P shows up at my home with a few other officers. My parents thought I was in trouble. Called me to the door and said the police were looking for me. Officer P introduced himself and the other officers to my parents. The other two officers worked the area our home was in, they wanted to meet me and my parents. Officer P said they were there to thank me and asked if he could take me for a ride to the hospital.
We went to the hospital to visit the officer who had been in the accident. It was rewarding to see the officer recovering. He expressed his gratitude for my actions. I’d remembered him but he didn’t recognize me. My face was very bloody the only time he’d seen me. I told him who I was and thanked him for what he had done for me. He said that the hospital staff had said to him had it not been for the boy on the scene they had heard about he may not have made it.
The staff said the ambulance crew estimated there were closer to 3 to 4 pints on the ground. He’d been given two pints shortly after arrival at the hospital, then more later. It felt good to have been able to help someone but what made it better was who it was. It was someone who had helped me in my time of need and I was able to return that act of kindness. So fulfilling and rewarding.
Karma? I don’t know about that but it sure makes one question the construct and it’s existence. I would never have imagined that something like that could happen. I do remember one time my father getting pulled over not far from home. The officer ticket book in hand said “Mr. C, unit 13?” “You were driving a little fast, get out of here” and sent us on our way. The officer and my paths never crossed again. It almost always has been like that with anyone I’ve ever worked on during an emergency. Show up, perform my duties, then on to the next run. -13