Saturday, 22 October 2011


Learn it
Its easy
It works
And it could be you who is there when its needed

Being able to say all of this from experiance is a little on the mind boggling side - okay, so thats not quite accurate. I really think I should go change my knickers but I digress.

It was a fair day.  The sun was out, a few clouds, nice little breeze, all in all a perfect day to have parade.
Half way through parade, someone in the front rank passes out and crumples to the deck.
No big deal, it happens and just about anyone in the forces you talk to will tell you that they have done so or know someone who has.

Two people go to help her to the side and they have to pick her up and carry her... this is not so typical.
They get her to the side line and tell me to call 911.
Okay, we have now gone way past the ordinary.

I head into the chapel, look at the secretary and tell her to call an ambulance. She looks back at me and says "Why?"

Stunned by the stupidity of her question I did not say "Listen you stupid bitch, phone the fucking ambulance and then we will talk"
Instead I answered her with "someone out there isn't breathing"
By a small miracle, she picks up the phone and does the 911 thing.

I leave the office and move into the chapel where a hulk of an air force photo tech has this tiny girl in his arms. This tiny girl is in her best uniform, her nice white shirt almost glowing. It is also pretty difficult to see where the shirt ends and the skin begins.

The hulk lays her gently on the ground and I reach for her carotid artery to find a pulse.
I failed to find one.
And she isn't breathing


Tunic is quickly undone, tie is loosened and I check for a pulse again
Nothing and she still isn't breathing.
Buddy does ten compressions and I give her two breaths.
I listen, and feel
Still nothing.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I am praying "please dear God, please don't let this little lady die,  not here, not now"

God hears and answers all prayers, he really does and today the answer was "Okay".

She opens her eyes and starts breathing.

Okay, she is not going to die on my watch.

Thank you God.

There are three of us with her, telling her she is safe, keeping her calm and wondering where in the hell the ambulance is.
At one point she starts to get upset about not being on parade and that her boss was going to be pissed at her and here boots are messed up and, and, and....

I gently hold her down and in my best voice of authority say "Able Seaman, sit down. I will talk to your boss and make sure he understands. Your only duty at this moment is to sit here and wait to go to the hospital. You are not doing anything else until further notice."

She took one look at  me and decided that she really didn't need to be anywhere else. At that moment, she was still pretty pale and probably not able to move very far anyway.

Fire fighters show up and give her an O2 mask and I being to breathe again.
About 15 minutes later the ambulance shows up and she gets up and walks to it. All I need you to do is not collapse on the way there and all is good.

The ambulance dudes see that she is no longer in immediate danger and take their time with her. Getting all of her info, talking to me about what had happened, ect ect and then they drive away.

10 minutes later the parade is over and this girls boss comes running to the back of the chapel where the ambulance was. I grab him and tell him the good news and that she was fine, safe and at the hospital. He thanks me and goes for his car to follow.
Several minutes later the parade chief grabs me and gets the whole story again.

I finally decide that the parade is over and I walk myself to my office, get changed and pretend to go back to work

A bunch of people give me the "Good one Johno" and sure, I am more than a little pleased with myself. Its not everyday that sort of thing happens.

2 hours pass, mostly in a haze of "Holy shit, did that really happen?" I spend the rest of the day going over the events and writing it down because I know that there is a whole shit load of paperwork that is going to be generated and my name is going to be on most of it. Most of the adrenilyn has washes out of my system so I am a little on the wasted side but doing okay. Everyone at the office knows and has given me the pat on the back.

A month goes by and it is parade time again. I am wandering around the drill hall waiting to form up and I spot the air force guy. I wander over to him and we exchange "holy shit, that did happen" words and look around. Yes, there she is. Still tiny as all hell and a proper color. I wander over to her and look down (can't help it, a very tiny girl) and tell her that the events of last parade are not to be repeated. With a shy smile she promises that she will behave.

That was the day that it all came together.
I have taken the class, thought yeah yeah, I will never use it, give me my paper and let me go home.

The class is a couple of hours long
Take it
You don't know when or if you will ever need it
And you won't forget the day you do

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