Earlier today, I posted this story on my Facebook page about how war veterans were the first on scene in London Wednesday and used combat first aid to try to save the fatally wounded policeman. According to the article, "they were first on the scene and shouted for a medic, but soon realised they were probably the best trained there and didn't flinch."
And in my Facebook post, I made the following comment:
Taken a CPR or first aid course recently? Are you ready to offer meaningful assistance to a fellow citizen at the scene of an accident?
We'd all be better off if we posted less and trained and volunteered more.
I'll save my thoughts about Facebook for another day, but the point I like to make is that we often conflate posting on social media with actually helping society. Robin Republican posts memes and stories about conservative issues, while Dan Democrat does the same with progressive issues. Mind you neither of them are very generous with their time or resources when it comes to charity, but in their mind, they are "helping" society by sharing the meme du jour for their cause.
Posting is not helping. Ranting is not helping. Doing is helping.
And so late this afternoon, I was loading up the Jeep to so that my dogs could ride with me over to where we're building our new home. I looked diagonally across the street where I saw a couple of my neighbors in the driveway of a home where neither of them live, acting a bit stressed, at times running from the drive way to the house next door. I got the sense something wasn't right.
I yelled across the street and asked if everything was okay. Turns out one of the boys who lived at that house had fallen off of his bike and "maybe broke his arm."
I walked over to the house and to the backseat of the car where the young man was sitting. It was clear he was in discomfort but was otherwise managing it well. I told my neighbors I'd just finished my EMT training and would be happy to take a look to see what I could do. The neighbors were happy to have the help.
I checked what EMTs call "CMS" or circulation, motor function and sensory deficit in his hand to make sure there wasn't a bigger problem. The obvious deformity and swelling in his forearm led me to believe he did in fact have a break. I quickly assessed both of his arms, noting a few abrasions, and also asking him questions about what he was doing at the time of the accident to test his breathing and cognitive ability. Falling off a bike can be rather traumatic to the body, causing multiple (and at times subtle) injuries.
I was about to get the gear out of the Jeep to start bandaging and splinting when his mom arrived. She had been with some other kids at a different part of the neighborhood when her son fell. Without flinching or otherwise showing any distress, she told her son she would take him to the ER. Knowing he'd be at the ER very soon, I passed on using him as an excuse to practice splinting, slinging and swathing a broken arm.
I texted his mom this evening to check on him. Her response: "Love how my neighbors got our back."
She sent me a picture of the x-ray and gave me permission to share it with you:
Here's what I hope I am conveying to you:
Learn some skills. Prepare yourself for the possibility of harder times. Be willing to help others. Be ready to be an asset to your family, neighborhood and community in an emergency.
This isn't rocket science, friends. Someone asked me the other day if it was hard to become a lawyer. My immediate (and honest) response was - hey, they let ME do it....how hard can it be?
Being prepared is the same way. Being ready to help others isn't hard. It's a decision you make to forgo spending time watching TV or some other mindless pursuit that doesn't matter and instead learn something that helps you and others. That's it. Anyone can do it.
Here's where I tell you what I think about things I think about.