The city’s skyline disappears behind the truck as the red lights reflect off the side of the ladder. The words “Capitol City” painted on the side. Siren screaming as Tommy weaves the truck through the city streets.
Somewhere there’s a man trapped in the wreckage of what used to be his car. We’ve been called out by Engine 10 to extricate him. I pray on the way there. Pray for protection. Pray for swiftness and competence on arrival. Ask for angels to be there with us. The truck starts to idle down, and brakes whine as we get closer to the scene. Air brakes hiss and doors open. Feet on the street. Ladder 1 on scene. I look over and see my Captain, a short man with stocky build, closing his jacket. “It’s a pin-in, grab the tools!” I open the compartment door and he grabs the large cutters. I grab the hydraulic pump and throw the lines on top. It’s heavy in my arms, its weight making me walk awkwardly. As I come around the truck, I take in the scene. White car, four door, on its wheels, front-end collision with a power pole, heavy damage, access to patient through driver door not possible, police blocking traffic, EMS on scene, Engine 10’s crew working feverishly, 1 patient being treated, IV’s started, unconscious, bloody male, mid twenties – early thirties. Hard to tell.
I set the pump down and run back to the truck and grab the heavy ...
... middle of paper ...
And for the first time since our arrival, his eyes open.
We load him onto the Ambulance, the Medics climb in, and the doors close. We watch as the ambulance disappears down the street and around a corner, its reflective lettering temporarily flashing, as it passes under the streetlights.
We clean up, put our tools back on the truck, all talk for a minute and give each other handshakes. Our three trucks head 3 different ways through the intersection. I exhale the built up tension, and feel myself relax some and I give thanks. We’re headed back to quarters, the truck rocking and bumping, when I see the red lights come on. The reflection, flashing on the side of the Ladder, again. The siren winds up, and starts screaming, and Tommy hits the gas. I look at my watch, my face illuminated by its little green glow.
Its 3:05 in the morning. Ladder 1, en route.
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