“A motor vehicle collision, with injuries reported” says the dispatcher through the drawl which is common at the twelfth overnight hour on shift. Sure enough, she is right this time.
Lots of flashing lights reflect off the dewy road, guiding us to the cars with moderate damage. It doesn’t look very serious, but injuries don’t seem out of the realm of possibility.
There’s lots of fire guys doing their thing next to a late-model Jeep SUV. Rather than get in their way, I’ll hang back unless they need me. These guys are more than competent, and one approaches me as I remove the stretcher from our ambulance.
“Hey buddy, we got the driver up ‘yonder, and we’re fixin’ to get ‘er out. She done broke ‘er ankle pretty good. Ain’t nothin’ else wrong with ‘er though. She wants to go to Mildly Capable Medical Center.”
Sweet. A short drive. Maybe I can catch some breakfast after we drop her off.
He and Slimm take the stretcher over to the driver’s side of the car, as the patient is lifted out of the car by the muscly fellows, and positioned on the stretcher.
Everyone moves quickly, as a drizzle has started to come down, and efficiently load the patient into the ambulance.
My initial impression is one of a moderately attractive redhead, of an age similar to mine. With a jacked up left ankle.
As they say; “bones ain’t meant to go that way.”
Our paramedic student third rider grabs a quick set of vitals while Slimm places an IV, and I prepare for some pain management. Slimm asks the pertinent questions, and we are assured that no, she isn’t allergic to any medications, nor does she take medications every day.
We do some creative jockeying so I can position myself at the patient’s side and administer some pain relief.
“So what’s your name, ma’am?”
“What, you don’t know?”
“No ma’am. I’m really sorry I didn’t ask before now.”
“I mean, you don’t remember?”
“I’m sorry, do we know each other? I meet a lot of people in this line of work, and I’m really sorry that I can’t remember your name.”
“We dated for a year in college. Remember?”
I glance at Slimm, standing behind the stretcher. His eyes are the size of dinner plates as he begins to move towards the side door.
“I’m gonna let y’all catch up. I’ll see you at the hospital.” he says, exiting.
It was a long ride.