Day One at Ground Zero
This morning, I hooked up with Sgt. Mike. Former Vietnam vet, and full on combat medic. We took our small crew to get registered at the medical tent and quickly realized there were way too many nurses for us to be able to do much good. A friendly paramedic told us that if it were up to her, she'd be out on the streets going door to door. So that's what we decided to do, with Michelle (the only non-medic) in tow as our intecessor and photographer.
We took to the streets, and managed to map ourselves a path that wound through the epicenter of the tornado that took out Alberta City. When I say, "took out" I mean that literally. Look at the pictures. It's gone. We started banging on doors, announcing ourselves to the residents who were still holing up inside of their damaged homes - the ones that still had walls standing. That day, we treated a lot of high b/p, diabetes, and various scrapes and burns. Sgt. Mike and I identified a couple homes that needed to be reported to law enforcement for recovery.
It began to rain, and we turned a wary eye to the sky. The saying goes that lightening doesn't ever strike the same place twice, but we couldn't set aside the fear that was laid into our hearts. All around us was the rubble of an entire community - shredded homes and lives were all the evidence we needed of mother natures fury.
Cold, wet, exhausted. . .we returned to the medical tent and exchanged our contact info.
We parted ways with Sgt. Mike that day, and unfortunately didn't see him again. But that's ok. . .because somewhere out there is a sergeant who gave all he could give that day to serve his neighbors. He hit the streets with a 20lb pack on his 60 year old body because reaching out is what he knew. Because the selfless creed of the soldier was still ingrained deep within him. Because, as Sgt. Mike put it, "It's just the right thing to do."
Yes Mike, I do believe you're right. Carry on my brother. Hooo ah!