Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Accident Aftermath

This time the crunch was different. This time, the initial BLAM crunch was followed by a heart-sickening series of crunches. I was on the phone dialing 777 even before I got to the window.

They have lovely women working for emergency services now, women who can stay calm and switch languages easily. Just hearing her voice calms me down as I report the accident, tell them to send an ambulance. The upside down car door is flipping open, and people are running to help the victim out. It’s a woman, and she is beautiful. She is also bleeding, and once they get her out, she is very still, too still.

The traffic police call me back and I tell them where the accident is, but thank God the woman is still on the phone and when he doesn’t understand, she fills in efficiently and accurately.

It takes them 21 minutes to arrive. The traffic police send one car, and on a busy street, they all gather around the woman and stare. The MOI also send a car. Not one of these police set up any kind of traffic control, cars on both sides of the road are stopping, people come running, just to look.

The ambulances take 22 minutes. When they leave, there are no sirens. I don’t think she survived. The medics appeared knowledgeable and efficient.

It’s the aftermath that bothers me now. On the ground, they left all the medical waste.

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The last thing the medic did as he got into the ambulance was to throw his bloodied gloves on the ground:

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And then . . .the traffic cops left! There are two wrecks on one of the busiest thoroughfares in town, and no protection from the next speeding car! The wrecks are in the fast lane!

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Don’t get me wrong. You know how I feel – police, ambulance medics, firemen – they are all heroes in my book. They risk their lives every day for the common good. The save lives, and they take pride in what they do.

They need a little training in accident management. When there is an accident, there needs to be a priority on getting there fast, and controlling the crowd, and routing traffic by efficiently. The medics need to pick up their waste.

There needs to be after-accident care, ensuring that someone stays until the wreckage is removed.

I had a house guest once who sat in my window and said “Oh my God. Oh my God! Oh! Oh! Oh!”

There are three separate u-turns we can see. Each one is another accident just waiting to happen. When the turn lanes back up, sometimes some people start honking, putting pressure on the lead person to make an unsafe turn. Please – resist the pressure. Take your time. Wait for a safe, truly safe interval.

Please, my friends, do one thing for me. Please, buckle your seat belts. And please, buckle up your children, put them in car-seats made to protect them, teach them from an early age to buckle-up, help it become so automatic they don’t even think about it.

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October 25, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Customer Service, Events, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Health Issues, Hygiene, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Social Issues, Women's Issues | , , , | 13 Comments