“I give thanks before you, King, living and eternal, for you have returned within me my soul with compassion – abundant is your faithfulness,” I whispered as I drove through the empty streets.
Jerusalem in the early morning mid-spring: nothing quite like it. Israelis are early risers no doubt, but the streets are still relatively calm at 0630. The noisy bakery trucks have already made their rounds, leaving the birds to sing solo. The air is crisp, the sky blue, and the sun shines brighter than anywhere else in the world.
So bright in fact, that I had my visor down as I made my way to “MVA – Serious Injury,” on a street 4 minutes away.
“Four minutes?!” exclaim those with intimate knowledge of our response times, “Why would you do a thing like that?”
Indeed the call was on the edge of my self-designated perimeter, but I had good reason for going: Nobody else had. EMT and civilian alike, everyone was still sleeping. Everyone that is, except for the young lady that had managed to flip her car sideways on a small, residential, 30kph speed limit street. My prophetic vision told me she had been going faster than 30, and that she might, maybe, possibly, have been texting.
Lesson One: Don’t text and drive.
But, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and besides, even idiots deserve medical treatment in an emergency.
Luckily, this particular idiot had listened to her mother and had her seatbelt on. It saved her life.
Lesson Two: Always listen to your Mother.
I got there to find the ‘injured’ lady already extricated from the vehicle and standing on the side of the road. Next to her was a very concerned looking postal worker. Concerned at the state of the car that is; the lady didn’t even have a scratch on her. I asked her several questions about her wellbeing and confirmed that I had been schlepped out of bed for naught. She refused transport to hospital and I left the duo taking selfies in front of the wreck.
Lesson Three: After you wreck your car, take a Selfie.
I mounted my horse bike (yes, like a cowboy) and headed home. Not so fast mister; the beeper beeped and I took another call. This time it was a “Danger to Human Life” and I was literally a few meters away from the location. This category of call normally means that the health of a patient behind locked doors is in question. In these situations, all three services are called; The BLUES – to give authorization to knock the door down, REDS – to knock the door down, and EMS – to treat whoever lies behind the door.
Well, EMS was already on scene, and the other services were, to be perfectly blunt, still in bed. I dismounted the bike (yes, like a cowboy) and went inside to investigate.
I investigate as well, by the way; gotta remember to add that to my resume. Boy, this is an ambidextrous job.
Note to all English Literature students out there: Don’t bother emailing, I know it’s the wrong use of the word, and I did it anyway.
Lesson Four: My Blog = My Rules.
Inside, on the first floor, I found a very concerned, actually downright alarmed, grandson. He was pacing back and forth outside his grandmother’s door. I, too, was startled. What was a teenager doing up so early in the morning? Something was definitely amiss.
Turns out, the lad had spoken to grandma last night and she had complained of not feeling well. He thought nothing of it at the time, but now that she wasn’t answering the door, he feared the worst.
I, too, had feared the worst on my first few ‘Danger to Human Life’ calls. Now I know that we have statistics on our side and there is a good chance that there is some absolutely flawless reason that grandma isn’t answering.
Lesson Five: Don’t worry, be happy.
But just for the record, I’ll tell you that the more sinister option was that she had fallen, and couldn’t get up on her own. The downright disturbing option was that she had passed away in her sleep.
Blues eventually arrived, and I told them what I had learnt. As far as they were concerned, there was enough evidence to knock down the door, and permission was granted accordingly. Now we had EMS + Blues + Permission. But no Reds. I went outside to look for them, as if I could draw them closer by just glaring down the street. Lo and behold, there they were, clumsily making their way down the narrow road. No fault of their own, those trucks are really hard to maneuver.
The firemen went upstairs to assess the door and decide on the tools, whilst I stayed down to make sure none of us got a parking ticket.
The arrival of the array of emergency vehicles had by now attracted quite a crowd, who were squabbling loudly at the entrance of the building. I thought I would do a bit of crowd control, (another item to add to the resume,) and so I tried to impose law and order.
“Back everyone, please!” I shouted.
Useless. I was in my Pajamas. Nobody was going to listen to me.
And then a little old lady came forward and asked me,
- Whether she could fetch me a blanket from her house, because I looked cold, and
- If I knew what the commotion was about, because she wanted to go back home and the groceries were getting quite heavy.
I told her no thank you on the blanket, and then, it hit me.
“You don’t happen to live on the first floor, do you Madam?”
“I most certainly do,” she replied.
Lesson Six: Always go groceries shopping in the early morning. There are fewer customers then.