Monday, July 17, 2017
$#!^ Happens. And You Brought...?
Summer in SoCal is everything you've heard about. Really.
I'm off for the weekend. Cruising down the street listening to my own song mix. The birds are singing. Not a cloud in the sky. And over there is a white haired woman face down in the street. Not a care in...
WTF? Why is grandma doing the dead fish impression off the edge of the curb?
So I pull over smartly, hop out with my first aid kit from behind the seat, and step over to where she lies.
She is, happily for both of us, conscious and breathing, so we chat.
Turns out moments ago (Why in front of me? Just lucky like that...) she negotiated a tall curb badly coming out of the jewelry store, tripped, with both feet on the curb, and fell to the street. As she's telling me this, and giving the okay for help, I tenderly pull her out of the traffic lane in which she was laying, noting her bilateral ankle pain and tenderness.
(And nota bene, total number of helpful bystanders who come over to assist, in front of three open business...zero, start to finish. Plan on that and you'll never be disappointed.)
I'm in town, and can call 9-1-1 while simultaneously cracking a couple of ice packs, after assuring myself that her feet have good pulses, are warm, and she can wiggle her toes. While also noticing she's probably broken both her ankles, at the tender age of 70-something.
So rather than having to splint both of her lower legs, I can wait the 110 seconds it takes for the city's red-engine pride to arrive, while I gather a quick history and baseline vitals, less BP, because I can hear the truck coming before I could deploy the cuff.
She is gently loaded on a gurney, to be whisked to the local ER, in little more than the time it took to write this, and other than handing the lead paramedic all the meat and potatoes of his run report, I'm done, and ready to depart. It also helps that he and the captain both recognize me from multiple contacts in that same ER, even though I'm not in scrubs at the moment.
The point, gentle reader, is that $#!^ happens anywhere. Are you prepared for that? You'll use a first aid kit in your lifetime one helluva lot more often than a gun, so whether or not you have a CCW and a weapon, where's your aid kits?
D'ya know what to do after you grab it?
Note I said kits, not kit. If you have a weapon, you should have an IFAK/blow-out kit on your body, as well as a mini-kit, and a disasterpiece theatre SHTF kit in the car, 24/7/365.
Mayhem doesn't send warning notices. He just shows up.
Can you quickly assess, evaluate, and treat someone you come across who needs medical attention? How about when you go shooting? (Of course, we know you'll never have an accident, because infallibility, but what about all those other jackasses waving guns around? Haven't you seen the bullet holes everywhere but downrange??)
Everybody carries one of these:
Okay, nice, provided you've got contact bars.
Some of you carry one of these:
Cool. Now, use it to stop bleeding. Can't do that?
Maybe it's time for one of these:
And one of these is even better.
For some problems, there's no other work around. You simply must have the proper tool, or you can't do the job. And waving your gun, or your arms, (or some other worthless anatomy) at the problem won't fix things.
Please, don't be that guy.
Naked and Afraid isn't even much good as a reality show, but it's orders of magnitude worse as a plan for coping with emergencies.
As a wiser man teaching field medical care once pithily explained,
"If you ain't got a kit, you ain't got $#!^."
Not the happiest ending in this case, but better than it could have ended.
Life happens. Tag, you're it...