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reflections of a paramedic
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Posted 2003-02-27 12:05 AM (#3535)
Subject: reflections of a paramedic


In the middle of the last night,
sleeping in my warm bed I am all right,
called out all of a sudden, someone is in trouble
a truck off the road, lying on its side,
there is no where I can hide!

Into my vehicle I jump, its blue bonnet shining dim
I turn on my lights, red, white, strobes lighting the sky
the motor screams, the turbo cuts in,
kids in town sleep on, caught in their dreams

Once onto the highway, I cut in the sirens, their howling
matched by the dogs who cry to the moon
40 miles to go, I cannot go slow
160 kms an hour, three tonnes of death
Hurtling along, a brief prayer I say
dont let any kangaroos come out
to further spoil my night.

Weather's too bad, no chopper tonight for sure
backup coming but not for an hour
in the dark of my cab, as I wrestle the wheel
the lights stabbing forward, I wonder whats ahead
will the driver be alive ... or dead?

the radio squawks, and control talks
a man is down, motionless on the ground
blood pouring from his head, bystanders say he groans
how long will I be? at this speed, I am near flying
I tell em, soon guys....you know I am trying
to get more go out of this box, but any faster and I would
break the sound barrier..... and man I am on the edge right now.

Onward onward I go.... getting nearer but it seems forever
I can feel the adrenaline flow, pulse is up, and BP too
25 yrs doing this job, never changes, always the same effect
up ahead I see lights, draw nearer, cut the noise
I see a double trailer on its side......poor truck it has died

Foot on the brakes, motor winding down, I draw into the side
scanning the area for hazards, fuel, glass, and bodies
a small gaggle of travelers, gathered around a dark shape
call it in, "165 on scene, keep that backup comin"

Jump out of the cab, open the rear grab my steth, and trauma kit
yell to one of the travelers, lets get you car moved,
here mate put these out for me, and thow him some lights
more harsh strobes flashing, guiding cars around us safely
everyone wants to slow and gawk, we love others pain
the night is dark, the sky cloudy, and everyone steps back

shining my torch onto the guy, first impression is bad,
get down, go for a pulse, its there, open his eyes,
pupils react in the light, breathing laboured but all right
Blood running slowly, bone showing white
run hands down quickly, limbs okay
abdo a bit hard, damn an internal bleed.

barking orders, time is of the essence,
bystanders get me a stretcher whilst I clean up the head
guy groans softly, good, get out some gear, look in his ear
No fluid thank you God, okay, lets get him in the ambulance
Get his neck in a collar, support that spine

helping hands lift him gently, we lay him down, and move into the unit
call on the radio......keep that other unit comin, goin to need a hand
they tell me at least another 50 mins. no worries I say.
no need to ask em to come quick, these are my colleagues
they know the score, and would do more if they could.

get some vitals, bleeding controlled
blood pressure okay
oxygen on, cardiac montior on
stats are good, heart rhythm steady
lets get a line established

selecting a vein, it wriggles and disappears again
cmon baby I whisper, lets do this together
trying again, light is shit, but I get a hit
got a good flashback, attaching fluid
setting  the rate, your going good mate!

I hear sirens, recognise em its the police
hope theres more than one, gonna steal one to drive for me
as they arrive, I am ready to go, cmon boys gonna ruin your show
need a driver lets go! broad smile, no worries Doug, how is he?

Not too bad, but lets get wheeling
meet the boys enroute
off we go, gotta go gentle dont want to make it worse
grab the radio, talk to the boys coming up
rendezvous a while later
an Intensive care Para on board

we attach more gear, and pump in a coupla shots
Morphine for pain and another to stop him vomiting
dont want him doing that might pop his brain
and so off we go again, down to the city
maintaining his stats... this is a good one.

tired and dirty, paperwork done, driver safely off to the ward
a few fractures and a small bleed, he will live
driving back slow, have time to come down
dawn is breaking, light lancing across the bush
a Roo sits up and watches me pass

White cockatoos fly past, magnificent in their splendour
their golden head feathers shining
Kookaburras call in the trees, and the road shines with rain
I reflect on my career..25 yrs
how many deaths..so very many
how many lives saved...... many more
how many births, quiet a few six to me personally

never know when or where will my next job be
risking my neck... and all for a pay check?
Nah, its greater than that,
its for the love of my fellow man
That why I do what I can.

And so arriving back at my small town, 400 kms of highway
all my terrritory, all 40,000 sq kilometres of it
I restock, clean, and park up the beast
patting it gently, well done babe
another job well done.

so to sleep, which is where I started.

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