Thursday, July 23, 2009
When I was a rather new paramedic, I was on a rescue team called "STAR" (Special Trauma And Rescue) This was before the fire department had anything to do with paramedicine here in San Diego. The six of us were responsible for SWAT, US Coast Guard, Secret Service, and cliff rescues. It eventually led to what I'm doing now...
In 1988 three college kids were drinking beers on the bluffs high above Black's Beach. One guy fell. The only girl there, Marissa, sent the other guy to call 911 and started climbing down the cliff to see if she could help. The guy went to his car and fell asleep. Next morning he woke up and saw his buddy on the rocks below the cliff, and finally went back to call 911.
I hadn't been a medic long but dude looked pretty dead to me. I rappelled down to pronounce him, and when I got to him he was stiff. I was about to start back up when I noticed a hand sticking out behind another rock.
Marissa had fallen too. Her chest was collapsed, her pelvis was broken. She'd go in and out of consciousness. No blood pressure. I radioed the lifeguards to get a surfboat over; we carried her through the surf, put her in the boat, and motored over to the boatramp. On the way there her heart stopped so I shocked her (the old way, with the paddles) and got a pulse back. That happened on the way to the hospital again, and once in the hospital. After emergency surgery and lots of physical therapy, she was able to bring cookies by the fire station.
So today, AnnaMarie had a lady over for lunch along with her daughter for a playdate. She is new to Julian, and AnnaMarie was asking her life story, and she talked about normal childhood and such, "But there was a major traumatic incident in my life". The more she talked about it (she even mentioned "STAR Team") and she remembered a guy with blue eyes... AnnaMarie figured out the connection