Trauma bears, not just for kidsÖ
The pager shrieks the tones, ď For fire medics, ___ street apartment 1 on a 15 month old not breathing. Your cross is ___ and ___ ,time out is 0059.Ē The tone in the dispatchers voice is unmistakable, I know this is a hot call. I was just going to bed, the days energy spent, thinking to myself that the stairs to my bedroom get longer and taller every night, when those words rang through the house. Suddenly I find myself running out the door, pack set and keys in hand thinking ,ď what was the cross, apartment 1, O.K. got it.Ē The map book in my mind opens, and as if on auto pilot, I know where Iím going. I check in service to the scene thinking ď oh god, please not this again, 15months is to young, I just canít face loosing another one.Ē I see the flashing lights of the county squad just in front of me, OK, at least there are two of us. Then I see another firefighter pull out on the street , now thereís three of us, now we have a chance, all the time my mind is racing, what will we find, why is this child not breathing, where are my airways, itís the longest three minuets of my life. As we all pull up I canít help but think of all the other calls Iíve had just like this one, and I see their faces in my minds eye, the ones Iíve lost, and hear the deafening silence of those calls echo in my head.
I grab my medic bag from the back of my jeep and start running for the door, the deputy and other firefighter right in front of me. We run up the stairs hitting every second or third one, yet still it feels like forever to get to the third floor. When we hit the front door I feel my hart pounding, there is a knot in my stomach, my hands are wet with sweat, my throat is dry, and Iím apprehensive and eager all at the same time. As we enter the apartment I can hear the sound of a small child crying, a sound that would normally break your hart, or annoy the calmest person, but to me itís the sweetest sound I could hope to hear. We see the mom with a look that is both relief and terror all at the same time.
She meets us in the living room holding a little girl in her arms, she has the biggest brown eyes I have ever seen. I radio into dispatch, ďdispatch from captain four, advise all incoming units the child is breathing at this time.Ē With these words I see all the faces in my minds eye smile and fade back into the darkness, and I feel a weight lift off of my hart. I take the little girl and set her down on the couch, and as I do those big brown eyes of hers lock on to mine, and she slowly stops crying. She gives me that look, as if to say, I knew you would come and make it all better.
As I examine her she looks not directly at me, but just over my shoulder, as if she is looking at someone, but when I turn to see who it is, thereís no one there. Behind me there are no people, no pictures, nothing, but still she looks, not breaking her gaze, just looking as if someone were talking to her.
When the second fire unit arrives on scene, along with the ALS rig ,the other medics start their exam of her, she looks at them and starts to fuss as I back away. I send one of the firefighters down to the rescue truck for a trauma bear, thinking that will make it all better. He returns with a dark brown soft and fuzzy bear and I hand it to mom to give her, to calm her fears from all the strangers poking and squeezing her. Mom hands her the little bear, but still she cries, her frightened eyes searching the room. Again and again mom tries to calm her, but with no luck, she hands me the bear and says ď here, you did it once, see if you can do it again.Ē When I kneel down next to the little girl, our eyes lock as I place the bear by her side, then her eyes shift ever so slightly back over my shoulder, and she stops crying. The ALS medics scoop her up and take her and her bear, along with mom to the hospital, all with out another whimper.
When I get back into my jeep, I feel a calming and tender reassuring presence with me as I pull out of the driveway. I thank god for helping me on this call, for making a good thing out of what I was sure would be a bad one. As I do, my minds eye sees those faces again, smiling at me as if to say ďyour welcome.Ē
Iím not sure, but I think that little brown trauma bear helped heal me more then it did that little girl. Iím not sure who or what she was seeing over my shoulder, but I have a pretty good idea, theyíre with me in my mind, day and night and on every call,
C. Blue, Fire Captain / EMT
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06-15-2005, 01:31 AM #1
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- May 2005
- The frozen tundra
Trauma Bears, not just for kids...
Last edited by VHcapt4; 06-17-2005 at 12:36 AM.
06-15-2005, 11:31 AM #2
- Join Date
- May 2005
Enough corn in that post to feed all of Africa...me thinks perhaps it's time for you to turn off the pager and go have a Budweiser-a big one.
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