*A 25 yr old woman is dead, her 4 week old son now motherless and a husband and family left grieving a life that was cut too short. I went to high school with that young woman. I may not have talked to her since I graduatated 10 years ago but I remember her. I remember a smile that touched your very soul. Hugs that would make you feel like the most loved person in the world and joy that could light up a football stadium. Alex Drake is dead because someone else decided to either street race or couldn't control their road rage. Alex was minding her own business. Probably excited about going on an outing with her mom and new baby. The drivers of the other vehicles made a selfish choice and dear, precious Alex paid the price.
* A line of cars (about 10-15) waiting at a stoplight. A truck pulled over on the right hand shoulder with a man standing outside doubled over in obvious pain. It was clear there were no flat tires. He was doing his best to wave and reach out to the cars driving by. Does anyone stop? No. Not until a dispatcher on her way to work realizes this man needs help. Arms stiff, sharp abdominal and chest pains and a hard time breathing. A quick phone call to my dispatch center and the medics are on the way. The patient and firefighters thank me for calling and I remember thinking "why wouldn't I call?" To me, it was obvious he needed help. not once did I feel unsafe pulling over.
* An ambulance, Battalion Chief, Fire Engine, Another Battalion Chief, Another Fire Engine... Lights flashing, sirens screaming, the horn honking... a clear sign to get the heck out of the way. I pull over and what do the three cars behind me do? Pass me and speed up! You have got to be kidding me. Am I the only one that looks in the rearview mirror for more reasons than to check my hair or make-up? I know they are not responding to your emergency at this particular moment but is was someone's emergency.
The selfishness I have seen over the last week or so makes me sick to my stomach. Is everyone so self absorbed that they are not aware of the things around them? Is getting to work/home 2 minutes early really worth increasing your speed a considerable amount and endangering everyone around you? Potentially landing you or someone else in the hospital or dead OR you with a speeding ticket?
Sometimes people make comments about how I am always making cookies or brownies or something for the fire stations. They make me feel like I really have no life and that I sound kind of pathetic really. Sometimes people outright say I need to get a life or do somethng else with my time. Well guess what.. I enjoy doing these things. I honestly do. It brings me so much joy when the crews are excited and they scarf down 5 cookies in one mouth-full. They deserve it. They deal with so much every day. I never want to stop doing nice things for people. Over the last week or so I've seen the destruction selfishness can leave in its wake.
The man I called the ambulance for needed to go to the hospital but didn't go because he didn't have insurance or money to pay. Would I pull over again and do the same thing? Absolutely! He could have passed out there on the side of the road and who knows what would have happened.
The fire engines,battalion chiefs, and ambulance got to the accident scene this morning but almost at the price of someone's life when a car cut in front of one of the fire engines.
Take a moment this week, hug someone you love. Do one nice thing for someone. Think beyond yourself. Please.