As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, I grew up on a farm in Central Indiana. Our emergency services was provided by a Sheriff’s department that generally had a couple of deputies patrolling the entire county at any given time, and a volunteer fire department that was not permanently manned at any time.
We were compelled to call the fire department one time while I was growing up. We were burning brush along a fence row and the fire spread into the field and got out of control. We called the fire department, but kept battling it ourselves while we were waiting for them. It took them about an hour to respond and, by the time they got there, with the help of a neighbor or two, we had just gotten the last of the flames put out when they showed up with sirens blaring.
They drove their truck around the field for 20 minutes or so spraying water on areas that were still smoking and smoldering.
We never bothered with emergency services for an ambulance. We’d have died waiting for that so on the couple of occasions we had a serious injury, we drove ourselves to the hospital (about 15 miles away).
That attitude has pretty much followed me, even though I’ve lived in cities with “efficient” 911 systems for years.
A few years ago, I hacked my leg open with a utility knife while trying to open a 5 gallon bucket of sheetrock joint compound. I was home alone at the time and it didn’t even occur to me to call 911. It wasn’t that bad a cut, even if it was very deep (I nicked bone with the tip of the blade). I wrapped it tightly with a rag and kept pressure on it as best I could while driving myself to base medical clinic…in a 1969 Ford F-100 manual transmission…operating the clutch with the cut leg which drooled blood all over the truck every time I had to shift. I had to hose the blood out of the floorboards of the cab later.
A few stitches later, I lived and I got a cool little scar to make up war stories about in the bargain.
When I read stories like this, I just have to shake my head in wonder.
Paramedics on a quarter-million-dollar medic unit sounded sirens as they raced to the scene of a toothache this spring.
They answered with similar zeal when a woman dialed 911 after spritzing herself in the eyes with perfume and when a kid got a fish hook jammed in a finger.
I realize that, ultimately, the government WANTS us to feel completely powerless and rely on them for control of every facet of our lives…but geez louise, do we have to cooperate so readily?
Has the “Home of the Free and Land of the Brave” become a nation of incompetent sheep? Or is it just the city dwellers who can’t blow their noses without someone in uniform to hold the kleenex?