I have a story to tell you

Make no mistake…this is not a happy story…  The multitudes who are not associated with the emergency field simply have no idea…somewhere there is a place we go to download stuff no one should ever have to see or know about.  This is the story of one call on a Saturday afternoon that is now in my psyche and will roam around in there for years to come.  It was a single car fatal traffic accident…it’s one of those calls that we get from only a couple of people so we don’t get that immediate adrenalin rush..in fact, I really thought it was going to be one of those typical Iowa winter calls with a car in the ditch…especially when the 2nd reporter advised it was in the ditch upside down in the creek and looked like it had been there awhile.  Unfortunately the deputy arriving on scene found that there was someone inside..it didn’t really matter at this point how long it had been there.  Put yourself in the place of the deputy who rolls up on the scene, the volunteer ambulance service (our neighbors and friends) who roll up…the paramedics….. and the wrecker driver who generally has to just deal with hookin’ and towin’.  So…now we have a couple handfulls of folks who are seeing things that no one should have to see and this gruesomeness has to go somewhere.

My partner and I now had the plate number of the vehicle (which was out of state) and the owner’s name..because of experience, we began the task of digging to find information for notifications and identification, etc.  We now know that somewhere there is a family whose life is about to turn tragic and they don’t know it.

We turned to Facebook.  There he is….and there was a picture of the car that matched the license plate check.  At this point, my partner says..yup this is probably him..hopefully some dirt bag stole his car and it just hasn’t been reported yet.


Our victim was recently married, recently became a father, was in the military and had just come home around the 27th of December.  The thing that about brought me to my knees was his post on the 27th saying not to miss loving and hugging the “shit” out of your family over the holidays because family is everything.

Ref my blog the other day about the importance of the social media and reading that your Great Aunt Matilda had died and sending good karmic vibes to your family.

I’m sending good karmic vibes to his family. 

I hope the other emergency crews have an emotional outlet…this isn’t the first and it won’t be the last…God have mercy on us!

Until next time…..

4 thoughts on “I have a story to tell you

  1. We had an accident like  that here this weekend. 28 year old, car caught on fire tho and he couldn’t get out. Because of that it took them awhile to identify him and notify the family. It was an out of state car. And then it was sort of like what you had hoped for. Turns out the guy who died was using a stolen identity. His car was even registered under it. So the wrong name  was reported on the news. The next day the rest of the story was reported. I kept wondering if that family in NC got the worst news of their lives this weekend and hope they knew from the get go that it wasn’t him…but it’s entirely possible they might not have, at first…


  2. It’s like the hospice people…I am in awe, I do not know how they find the grace to deal with tragedy on a daily basis. I can only be humbly grateful.


  3. I am sorry.I thank God there is someone on the other end of the line, and that there is someone to respond when you need them. None of you can ever get enough kudos for what you do. But i also know the stress that comes from it and I understand that it will stay with you, there is noway around it. i hope it helps to know that there are ppl out there who will think of you often for the rest of their lives. You may never meet them and even if you know them, they might not  tell you, but you will be there in their minds and hearts because you were there when they needed somebody…I hope it helps.


  4. So very tragic. My thoughts are with his family.I don’t think most of us non emergency people realize how you and those who work with you have to see and take care of those things. My heart goes out to all of you and I thank all of you for doing what most of us wouldn’t have the courage or fortitude to do.


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