Hey all. So yesterday, the craziest thing happened. It was a weird day, Riley had slept only a few hours the night before. Amy had to catch sleep in the guest room since she had work, and I spent the night alternating between begging Riley to sleep and trying to command her to. (Sidenote…neither works…). She was cranky as all hell in the morning and took an early nap. My parents called, mom who has been knocked out of commission with Shingles was all clear to come see Ri. Sure, come on up. So Pops and Mamacita came up, Riley was ecstatic. Now my day is already off schedule and I still need to shop and pick Amy up early. So we go through Target, and I literally have to turn and burn. No problem. I will leave the car and Ri home with the ‘rents and use their car to pick up Amy. Great. I hope on their car and take off. Barely even ten minutes into the drive a red sedan comes flying around a curve on the opposite side of the road, pointing towards me. I can’t even really tell you what happened. I know that I went oh f**k he is going to fast. I slammed on my brakes and instinctively pulled to the side of the road as he flipped his car in front of me, sliding off the road on the roof of the car into a front yard. I saw the person behind me swerve left as I swerved right and he barely missed me and was breaths within of this sliding car, which if I had been even 20 seconds earlier would have taken me out with him.
I don’t know how I knew the car was going to lose control. I can’t think, looking back, of anything that told me…no bobbles, no swerving. Just and inherent sense that it was too fast, and to stop and avoid. Now, being involved with the volunteer  fire department as long as I was, first as an explorer, then as a fire fighter, instinct took over immediately. I ran to car, seeing the neighbor of the yard he lay in already on the phone. As I dropped to my knees beside the car I took in so many things at once. The car was still running. There was a gentle smoke starting. The car was almost flat. The windshields, both front and back had smashed out, flying away from the car in their respective opposite directions. Debris was littering the ground in a circle around the car, probably about a mile each way. There was an acrid smell to the smoke. I circled the car, not seeing anyone in or thrown out of the car other then the driver. As I circled back to the road, I dropped to my knees calling to him, sir are you ok. This is a long run on sentence paragraph so you would think it took forever. It had to have been no more then a minute by the time I dropped beside him.
I saw some bad sights my years as a volunteer firefighter. Nothing I ever saw compared to or prepared me for looking into that car. I think that as a firefighter, you pull up you have your gear, you have a sense of what you are walking into from dispatch and you have a job to do. You are there to fix the problem, you have the know-how and tools to do so and that’s just it. As my father a long standing Volunteer firefighter, an officer up to and including chief over his time has always said…if you are doing your job on the scene, you don’t really have time to see the victim(s). Here I had no job. I was just trying to figure out if I could help.  As I dropped down, calling out to him, I saw that the car was as flat as it appeared. He was hunched over, as the car was pushing him down almost into a 90 degree angle, but not quite. His head was at an impossible angle. He had a seatbelt on that was holding him in enough it was probably saving him from breaking his neck. I smelled a sweet, slightly Metallic (almost like that smell if you clutch coins in your hand on a hot day) smell that is unmistakeable if you have ever been exposed to the scent before…blood. A lot of blood. I got lower as I heard him moan and saw (*ATTENTION GRAPHIC*) a huge chunk of skin just hanging from his left arm and blood just pouring out of it. His face was called in blood. His right arm must have flown up at some point , it was across his body and the hand was pinned underneath the door jam. The woman on the phone ran up yelling for them to hurry damnit. I started firing information at her to tell them rapidly and she looked at me and just held her phone out. I said hello and told the dispatcher what I had. She figured out quickly I had some kind of experience. She asked how dire the situation was frankly at that point. I said to her quite plainly, he is losing blood quickly and in a big quantity. Get em here. The woman looked at me I am a home health aide and we need to apply pressure and she ran back to her house. I noticed he was quiet and yelled out buddy you there.
Keep him talking from the dispatcher.
Duh.
Yes. He groaned. What’s your name bud. Steve. How old are you Steve. A fainter groan. You gotta stay awake Steve. How old. 42. What year is it. Pause. What year Steve…..STEVE. 2017. To dispatch as the home health aide ran up joining me next to the car and wrapping the towel around his arm. Another neighbor ran up, I gave her the phone, dropping back down. Pressure I said to her. Hard. Steve who is President. No response. The lingering smoke was getting less white, more grey…bad. STEVE WHO IS PRESIDENT. f**king Trump the response through clenched teeth as I got further down trying to see if I could get to the ignition…no go. I put my hand in the car, no go, but pulled it out ant saw that the car was leaking fluids. Not good. Can’t get it off I said to some guy on the scene. Him and another guy looked at the car circling it, and I don’t know what they did, but it turned off and as I shifted to say thanks I looked down. I realized that the fingers popping out of our side of the car didn’t match up to where I saw his hand was under the jam. I looked at the woman who now had the phone, hearing a siren in the background. Steve was now yelling incomprehensibly, with pain laced so strongly through his voice that I knew whatever adrenaline had him answering me before was gone. Quietly I said tell dispatch that his right fingers are amputated.
From there, officials took over. I told what I knew and had to continue on to pick up Amy, now running late. We continued on with our Thursday. Even our Friday. But I wonder what happened. I hope he is ok. I heard his screams last night in my sleep. I can’t shake it. Today I am sitting here and am blogging this hoping that I get the screams out of my head. I hope that I can get the smell out of my nose and I want to close my eyes and not see those mismatching fingers and hand placement perfectly.
Mostly I am confused. I have been to fires, I have been to accidents. Am I that out of practice? Was it different because anything that had happened to make me even 20 seconds earlier would have put me from a bystander to a victim myself? Is it sticking because I am a parent now? Is it because I have never seen it not in an official capacity before?
I don’t know. But I know I am grateful I was so off schedule yesterday. I hope that between me and the others who weren’t scared to stop and help and try that he is alive. I hope it will stop haunting me. Mostly, I hope Steve lives today, tomorrow, and for a long time. Thanks for listening.
Until next time.

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