Is Your Space Clear?

Yesterday evening we had an incident in our area when emergency services responded to the residence for one of our neighbours. Although it required a person to be taken to hospital, I understand that they will be okay.

The reason for this wee blog post is something I observed during the incident, and what I had not considered before. I imagine that many of you may not have either.

As is the norm, fire arrived first, followed shortly by an EMS supervisor vehicle. Once they entered the residence, to assist the individual, I assume they determined that the utilization of a stretcher would be necessary after the ambulance arrived.

Fire Clearing Snow

Now comes the part which I hadn’t really thought about previously. We had recently gotten our first snowfall and I saw one of the fire crew go over and shovel the sidewalk so it would be clear for the stretcher. Then he went and got some salt and/or sand and put it down so the paramedics and others would not slip while transporting the casualty. When the ambulance arrived, the sidewalk was done, and they were immediately able to stage the stretcher at the residence door. A while later the casualty was brought out, placed on the stretcher and then into the ambulance, with all parties having good footing.

Now, all of this highlighted to me, and I hope to you as well, how important it can be to keep your sidewalks and driveways clear of snow in the winter, as much as possible.

As well, it displayed to me that emergency workers have many more boxes to tick while performing their duties than we may think. For myself, I have great respect for all emergency workers, and I do my best to thank them for all that they do.

We all more or less take for granted our work or living spaces, both inside and outside, and tend not to think of emergency workers trying to maneuver themselves and their gear in those spaces.

I suggest that this be a reminder to check your spaces just in case you, or others, need emergency assistance, to make your space more accessible.

I know I will.

And thanks to all those who make it their profession to help us when we need it.

Rest In Peace – Dallas Boyko

This past weekend another senseless death was in the local news. Unfortunately a great many deaths are senseless, however this one affected me a bit more than usual, even though I have no personal contact or knowledge of the person who died.

Dallas Boyko was a 51 year old paramedic, driving in an on-duty ambulance with her partner at 4am on a Saturday morning, when a suspected impaired driver crossed the centre line and struck the ambulance head on. She and the driver of the other vehicle died, her partner was injured. Here is the CTV Edmonton news story. (Photo from Facebook – Emergency Services Memorial Page)

This story really struck me for a couple of reasons. A very good, long time friend of mine, on duty as a paramedic, was seriously injured when a vehicle struck the car in which she was tending to a casualty. As well Darren, a good friend and fellow veteran, also a paramedic, came close to not one, but two, head-on collisions while on duty just under a year ago within a one week span.

In Darren’s case, I was prompted to do a podcast after his first incident (link here), and then another after the second (link here).

As veterans most of us have a close affinity, not only to serving military, but also to first responders, such as police, fire and ambulance. Indeed, quite a number, when leaving the military, themselves become first responders.

A person’s death can be quite upsetting under any circumstances. If it occurs while the person is performing their duty it has a greater impact on me, and even more so should it be due to someone else’s careless or negligent actions.

Dallas Boyko, while serving as a paramedic, had most certainly positively affected countless number of lives. She died needlessly while performing her duty. That is a tragedy. May she rest in peace.