March 8, 2012 - We had four calls on the weekend, three on Saturday and one on Sunday. I was thrilled to make it to all four of them (well, kind of . . . I missed the trucks for two of them, but still, I was there and that’s the important point here.)
By Jennifer Grigg
March 8, 2012 – We had four calls on the weekend, three on Saturday and one on Sunday. I was thrilled to make it to all four of them (well, kind of . . . I missed the trucks for two of them, but still, I was there and that’s the important point here.)
While at the scene of the MVC on Saturday, it struck me (perhaps not the best choice of words), it occurred to me that it would be great if we could somehow provide more support to the people involved in the accident who weren’t injured, but certainly were stranded for a period of time.
At this call, both occupants walked away from the accident with minor scratches, although, understandably, they were shaken up by what happened. After the paramedics checked them out and they’d spoken to the OPP on scene, they were left to wait for the tow truck to arrive.
It was extremely windy on Saturday and we found ourselves in the middle of a blizzard on the highway while we, too, waited for the tow truck as per request of the OPP. (As with anywhere else, our tanker is used as a blocker on accident scenes to provide added protection for the emergency services personnel.)
As we stood there being pelted by snow and watching the vehicles whiz by, I learned a valuable lesson: you know when a transport passes you while driving on the highway it sprays your windshield with a layer of guck? Well, when it passes you when you’re standing on the highway at an accident scene, it’s not a good idea to be looking at it, because you’re about to get a face full, which is exactly what happened to me. Funny, after I wiped my face, I could still taste salt, thanks to the salt truck that had passed by moments before. Lesson learned.
I was thankful that I had my bunker gear to keep out the wind and snow, but I also couldn’t help but feel sorry for the two guys who had just been in the accident. Not only had they just been in an accident, but now they had to stand there in the midst of the storm with us, and they weren’t wearing bunker gear to protect them from the elements. I watched them huddle between the doors on the leeward side of the rescue truck and wondered about letting them sit inside the truck.
At the same time, one of the other firefighters directed the one fella into the back of the truck to warm up while the other fella was giving his statement to the officer. (At that point, even the firefighters were heading to the trucks to get out of the weather.) He was offered a bottle of water and a chance to get out of the snow, but I wondered if there was more we could’ve done.
I suppose we did everything we could have given the situation. We are firefighters after all, not flight attendants. It’s not like we have a Keurig on the truck and could offer him a cappuccino and a magazine while he waited. I know, I know, leave it to a woman to come up with something like that . . .
The tow truck finally arrived and we prepared to leave the scene. As I was getting in the back of the rescue, the fella was getting out and he thanked me – thanked us – several times. He genuinely seemed to appreciate what we did do for him and I suppose in the grand scheme of things, we did make a bad day a little bit better for that guy.