A day to forget

Posted: January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Yep, I’m back. Its been a while since I logged into my blog. Today is one of those days the blog will be my couch.

Since leaving the road over a year and a half ago, I pretty much dove into my new corporate life with gusto. It took less than a month to stop carrying equipment in my car and packed it away in a cupboard.

Now, whilst I have kept up with the latest teachings, updating my ACLS, and PALS, it still isnt actually treating patients. A decision I havent regretted making. I love my new career, and personally, I feel I have fulfulled my short term goal, and now for the long term.

Anyway, part of my function involves alot of travel. From neighboring countries to major cities and tiny towns in South Africa.
Today, whilst on the road,having just left a Service Provider, a huge accident happened in front of me.

17 years of operational experience as Advanced Life Support couldnt have prepared me for the emotions of today.

Taking the chaos in, with the dust settling,  I went into automatic mode. Moments later I’m kneeling on the grass, holding a little 2 year old lateral, his blood on my hands and arms, trying to clear his airway, while shouting at bystanders who were arriving to call ambulances. I have at my disposal over a 100 ambulance services, so I got another bystander to phone my company call centre, while telling people standing around to phone others. All I knew, I desperately needed ALS to assist.

I saw his little mouth take a last breath, and started CPR. Being operational, I have always had a boot full of equipment at a stretch away, and here I was, compressing this tiny chest, knowing that all I could do, is perform CPR which will keep his heart going long enough until help arrives.

And they did. Extremely fast. Advanced Life Support Paramedics from different private ambulance services arrived and I stood back and watched them take over. I realised then, that this is what it feels like when I used to arrive. The feeling of extraordinary relief when the the response car stops and you realise help has arrived.

The way these Paramedics and ambulance crews, from competing companies, worked together, made me so proud. There was no competitive bickering over the patients, just all working together to save this innocent little boy.

The little boy? I don’t know…. He is in ICU… And now its a waiting game.

When I drove from the scene to the office, I felt emotions welling up. Operationally, it was always debriefing thoughts going through my mind, what we did, what we didnt do, what we missed, what we could’ve done better etc.
Today, I felt like a normal average joe, having been involved in a horrific scene, and now alone with my thoughts as I drove the 80 km back to work.

Although my experience is telling me the worst, I still pray he lives to play again!
And yes, the jump bag goes back in the car!

To the ambulance services, paramedics, fire fighters and police who helped today. Thank you for your selfless commitment to serve the public.


  1. Kathy says:

    Well done Carl, you have certainly done your fair share as a paramedic. I am so proud of you today, going into auto drive to help a little boy. Even though you did not have anything with you, you were still able to keep the little boy alive until help came. I truly salute you Carl, you are a very special person. From a very proud aunt xxx

  2. Very affecting story. The angels noticed.

  3. Well done my boy .. so very proud of you! You were that little boy’s angel today. I hope you may never need to open your jump bag again. Love you lots xxx

  4. Braam says:

    Carl, if it was not for you that little boy would not of had a living chance. I salute you and therefore have worlds of respect for you! Actions speaks way louder than words! Well done. Glad I could of had the oppertunity to be educated by you today in not only the working environment but in life as well. Thank you for teaching us about emotion and being human while we serve! We never ever know when duty will call!

  5. Mat Harris says:

    Hi Carl.
    A poignant read. Thanks for sharing. No matter how long I was off the road, my jump bag had always been my security blanket. I felt helpless without it.

  6. Cheryl says:

    So proud of you.

  7. Andrew says:

    nicely done Carl!! Wish we could get support from our Min of Health!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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