Monday, December 14, 2009

First on the Scene

Jen always tells me to be prepared for the unexpected!! I had her voice running through my head the whole time Ryan and I were helping at the scene of a wreck last Saturday.
We were on our way home driving west on Alto road when we saw a full size truck lose control on a bridge, do a 360 degree spin on the road, and then flip over into a huge ditch.

I was in Trauma mode in an instant!! My adrenaline was pumping so hard I could have jumped out of my car while I was still driving. We got pulled over, I grabbed my rescue mask out of the glove box, and Ryan started to call 911. As I stepped out of my car, another car lost control on the black ice on the same bridge. They almost slid into us so I jumped into the ditch and slid down the hill to the truck. Ryan was so into talking to the dispatcher that he didn't even see the car that almost slid into us.

As I slid down the ditch, I was checking out the truck's position to figure out if I was safe to get close. It looked like it could flip over onto it's top at any time. It was laying on the passenger's side. The woman driving was wearing her seatbelt, so she was hanging sideways from her seatbelt towards the passenger's side window. Her airbags didn't go off, which I thought was weird, but luckily she didn't seem to be hurt too badly. She wasn't responsive when I first started talking to her, but after yelling through the window for a only a minute or so, she regained consciousness. I wasn't sure what to do since she was suspended from her seatbelt.
I just kept talking to her and reassuring her that we had help on the way.
At some point before the police first arrived, she un-did her seatbelt and fell into the passenger side window. She was able to get the window down and Ryan and I pulled her out of the vehicle. I threw my coat on the ground and layed her down and told her to hold really still. I wasn't really thinking like I should have at the time, plus I was telling Ryan what to say to dispatch and to the daughter when we called her. Now that I look back, I realized I should have had ahold of her neck right away so she couldn't move it.

She wasn't out of the truck for long when the first police officer got there and he got ahold of her head right away so she couldn't injure her neck. It seemed like a long time while we were waiting for the cops and ambulance, but in all reality, I think it was only about five minutes if that.

I'm really thankful that she was alert and conscious by the time we got her out of the truck, but I was prepared to do CPR if I needed too. I have never been in a situation quite that scary before. It made me really want to become an EMT or paramedic. I personally thought I did a better job of talking to her and making her comfortable with my words than the others did. That's just my humble opinion :-) PLUS.....the firetruck that showed up didn't have a c-collar (neck brace) stocked. They only had a back board. I guess that's better than nothing, but technically, you're not supposed to put someone on a back board without bracing their neck first if there is any possibility of back or neck injury.

I only got her first name, and didn't feel comfortable calling her daughter the next day, so I don't know how she is. I really hope she is OK and have been praying for her since Saturday night. It was scary for all of us. I'm just glad she wasn't hurt more seriously.

I always say there's never a dull moment in my life with Ryan...I never meant it like that phrase has a whole new meaning!!!!I know it is really bad that we took pictures, but Andrea has taught me to always have my camera with me.....You never know what you might come across. You can't see it very well, but in the picture above, we are looking at the underneath side of the truck.Here you can see the truck and the rescue vehicles in the road. The height of the road in comparison to the truck should give you an idea of how deep the ditch was. I barely remember jumping down there!!It looked so awful when it was happening right in front of us. I was really surprised that the lady wasn't banged up more than she was. Relieved and surprised!!!

It looked like quite a scene by the time we pulled away. They had Alto road closed in both directions. Like I said before, I am just very thankful that she wasn't hurt too badly and that Ryan and I escaped the other car sliding around while we were getting out to help. The night could have gone a whole lot differently for a lot of us that night. Someone was watching and protecting us :-)


*Jen* said...

You are such an amazing person for stopping and checking out the scene and victim. Most people are reluctant to stop with there is a emergency. But bc of your training, you were confident to proceed. I'm very proud of you!!


alli-gal said...

I would do it all over again in an instant. I would hope someone would do the same for me. Thanks to my job and to you, we were able to make a difference that night. It really made me think about all those times we have done my cpr training and you're saying things like "Make sure the scene is safe" and my response is usually something like "well, when I'm at work, I'll be in a different situation." But you're right, those things aren't always going to bhappen while I'm at work, and this was the perfect example.

Andrea said...

Wow!!!! Amazing! You never know what you're going to get into when you stop to help someone in an accident! I'm proud of you Allison, you jumped out and got right in it!

I'm also really proud you had your camera and had enough sense to get some good pics. :)

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