I settle into the airway seat while we wail down the interstate. Mental checklists line up like a rabble of elementary boarding scholars waiting for roll call. All set. Light blue latex waits on my lap. (Medium please.)
The radio crackles; they’ve called the bird. We almost always do on a rollover.
At long last we cross the median to join a parade of flashing lights.
The secondary beat us there by three minutes, but this is our territory.
It’s mayhem. The kind of mayhem an overloaded pickup truck leaves on the road when it tumbles.
And it looks like the Army, Navy, Marines, and National Guard are all on scene too. (figuratively.)
We elbow in.
Patient looks remarkably good considering. Ugliness on his hand and shoulder and sticky swelling questionableness on his head, but awake and talking. Just one thing:
“Does anybody speak spanish??”
I’ve got the head. We load him just in time to escape rotor wash. The bird hot drops a crew and takes off again.
“I kinda do.”
Medics from three crews on one rig. And FD and LE orbiting around the outside, circling for turns at the open door, to fire more questions in.
I lean down to hear him. Me, the link between him and the guys that know way more than I do.
I’ve got the chart too. And I ask him questions, and I ask them for procedures and numbers and assessments. And I put everybody’s answers on paper.
Then after ten minutes start to finish, I’m back in the airway seat with my feet up, headed for base.
He’ll fly, we’ll go back to listening to the radio.
It’s in the peace of a quite firehouse that it hits me.
Love it. Spend almost an hour a day, every day, learning a new one.
But how many times has Heaven come to my rescue, sent down it’s agents, stopped an interstate to land the bird,
and been almost entirely unable to give me any real aid at all, because I didn’t know the language.
Because I’d never taken time to learn it.
To hear the voice of God is one thing. To understand it is another.