DD Motoring: A call for help in the middle of the night

first_imgThe pager could have been rattling around the floor for a while or just for a split second, you try to figure out if you’re dreaming or your pager is really going off…Your best laid plans are put to the test as you try to get dressed as quickly as possible. A sock stuck in a trouser leg slows your progress for seconds, but it seems like minutes. With keys at the ready you unlock and lock the front door of your home. Everyone knows that lives in your home not to block your car in.As you get behind the wheel of your family car your pager goes off for the second time. Your heart races no matter how many times you have responded to a call like this before, because now you know that someone is in terrible bother. Advertisement It will take about 3 minutes to drive to the fire station at night and another 2 minutes to get a printout of the call and get into your firefighting gear.In Letterkenny at the hospital roundabout where the fire station is located a fleet of ambulances with blue lights lighting up the darkness will be already on their way. Now we know that the call is a Road Traffic Incident from the print out.We turn out a fire engine, and emergency tender and a traffic management jeep. We remove the gloves for fire fighting to fit surgical gloves underneath them. There is a silence in the fire tender as it speeds to the scene as the box of surgical gloves is passed around to each fireman.We all know what lies ahead for us in the next few hours. Advertisement The medics in the ambulances at the scene have radioed back to their control centre which in turn has contacted us looking for our estimated time of arrival.We now know what is involved in the crash and also know that the medics need us right away to help them to release casualties from the crumbled wreckage that once was a family car.We can get to work as soon as we arrive at the scene but also know that we can not stop the clock. We know we are now well into “the golden hour” of the casualties at the scene.There is nothing glowing about the “golden hour” at the scene of a serious accident. It’s the 60 minutes following the time of the impact of the accident.Cases of severe trauma, especially internal bleeding, require surgical intervention. Complications such as shock may occur if the casualty is not managed appropriately and with speed and efficiency. It therefore becomes a priority to transport patients suffering from severe trauma as fast as possible to specialists, at a hospital, for definitive treatment. Because some injuries can cause a trauma patient to deteriorate extremely rapidly, the lag time between injury and treatment should ideally be kept to a bare minimum; this has come to be specified as no more than 60 minutes or the golden hour, after which time the survival rate for traumatic patients is alleged to fall off dramatically. We are now working away at the incident. All the training never prepares you for what you will see or experience. For me it helps if I don’t know the person that I am cutting out at a car accident, that way I would hope I could concentrate a bit better on the difficult job involved.Even if you don’t know them, as a fellow human being you know that from them moments on, their life is going to change for ever, that’s if they are lucky, if you could call anything about a car crash lucky.For some their life will have already ended in the impact of the Incident even before the emergency service were even called out to the crash.Now their family, just as we as firemen were called out in the middle of the night from our homes in an effort to save their life, the emergency services will be trying to identify those involved in the crash and in turn the Gardai will have one of their most difficult jobs calling at their homes in the middle of the night with this heartbreaking news. 23,943 people have died on the roads in Ireland since 1959, (when the statistics began). That’s how many times a member of the Garda Siochana has had to knock on the front door of homes through out Ireland to inform family members of this fatal news.Between now and Christmas Day these statistics will show that one member of the Garda will be calling at the door of someone in Donegal with devastating news. It’s less than three weeks and I would be so happy if this turned out not to be true.People in the present day all want to make their journey home for Christmas, for as tradition goes to celebrate the birth of Jesus who’s mother Mary and Joseph also made a journey home on what turned out to be Christmas Eve.For families that have lost a son or daughter a father, mother, brother or sister on Irish roads over the years, even if their accidents didn’t happen around Christmas their loss of a family member will be missed the most at Christmas. For them what was supposed to be a joyous occasion now becomes a very difficult time of the year.The keys of a car lying along the roadside, in the background life goes on but not in the same way for those who have lost someone on the roads in Ireland. Think of your journeys on the road of Ireland this Christmas and not only on your destination. Photo Brian McDaidI hope I haven’t annoyed anyone with this motoring column this week especially those that have lost a family member on the roads, but, if by any chance writing this we could manage to change just one road statistic on these the weeks heading into Christmas it would be a result.People do funny things at Christmas, that they never would think of doing all year round, make last minute decisions to take journeys to visit a friend or do a good deed on the run up to the festive season. They think of the joy that they may create but might not think on the road journey involved.Focus on the journey home as much as the final destination.Safe, safe motoring folksOur motoring correspondent Brian McDaid was a member of the Letterkenny Fire Service from 1985 to his recent retirement at the end of November past. He thanks the members of the Letterkenny Fire service for their kind words on his retirement, for his presentation of service certification by Asst. chief fire officer, Michael Scott and the presentation by Donegal Fire Fighters Association represented by Firefighter/ driver Michael Purtil. DD Motoring: A call for help in the middle of the night was last modified: December 7th, 2016 by Brian McDaidShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:brian mc daidCar Accidentdd motoringfirefighterroad traffic incidentlast_img

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