7:15 AM …
“OH MY GOD!” I yelled, “OH MY GOD!”
Then something triggered in my brain. I stopped yelling and reached for my phone. The driver approaching in the other direction stopped, got out, and told the person to stay down on the ground as he had tried to stand up. She knelt down to talk to him. My hands shook as I dialed 9-1-1, the three numbers I never want to dial1. I heard my voice shake as I answered the questions. What city? Police, fire or ambulance? What address?
I noticed that there was another person on the phone (the passenger in the car of the person who had stopped to help the pedestrian) and I told the operator that I thought maybe someone else had called 911, “That’s OK. We’re talking to you.” She continued her questions, How old is the injured? Male or female? Is he awake?
All the time, I was walking toward the injured person. Cars were still trying to eke their way around the scene so I made my way carefully into the middle of it all. I answered a few more questions while in view of the pedestrian. A neighbour brought out a sleeping bag to cover him and keep him warm. The bystander was still holding his hand and talking to him to keep him conscious.
The operator talked me through some instructions and kept me on the phone until the first emergency responder, a police unit, arrived. She then thanked me for being helpful and said I was the only one who had called 911.
In quick order, another police car, a fire truck and then an ambulance arrived on scene. Everyone quickly went about their duties, taking over management of the patient, interviewing the driver who struck the pedestrian, interviewing witnesses, and controlling the scene. The EMTs assessed the patient and brought out a back board to move him. Once I had given my brief statement to a police officer, I called home to let them know what all the sirens were about and that I was OK.
Traffic had backed up in both directions and the bus I was supposed to be on was stuck in the midst of it. I did a self-check, should I go back home or was I OK to go to work? One final check to make sure I was not needed for any reason, I decided to walk toward the next stop then figure out what to do if I missed the bus.
Walking the four blocks was enough to clear my head, thank the universe that it hadn’t been me in the crosswalk, and calm down. Two women who normally take the same bus as me were still waiting at the next stop when I arrived. I explained what had happened and said that I expected the bus would be along shortly. It did.
I boarded the bus and my day continued as if normal but what I saw of the accident — the arc of the body and the second thump as he hit the pavement — is still playing through my mind. I expect it will for some time.
Emergency Lights – by DrStarbuck on Flickr Some Rights Reserved
First Posted At Flotsam And Jetsam