The Fire Station I work at is located on Sunset Blvd, a major Street in Los Angeles. It is also where there is a slight curve, in the otherwise straight portion of the Road. Right in front of the Station is a Street Lamp and a Fire Hydrant. A least one driver per year has hit the Hydrant because they were driving too fast, driving under the influence or both.
We were all sound asleep at 2:10 am, when we were awakened by the violent sound of a car crashing. Upon opening the doors to the Fire Station, I saw a geyser where the Hydrant used to be. The Street lamp was gone, laying on the sidewalk across the street. Debris was scattered 100 feet away. Then I saw the car, sitting upright on the sidewalk, next to the building across from us. It looked odd, as if it was a convertible without a windshield. The roof was crushed down to the level of the hood and trunk of the car. The car must have flipped over at least one time.
I immediately ran over to the car and saw one person in the passenger's seat and one in the driver's seat, both unconscious. The passenger was more accessible than the driver, who was hidden under the roof. They appeared to be dressed as if they were at a Club, probably having fun, dancing and/or drinking. By law, all businesses in California stop selling Alcoholic beverages at 2 am.
We pulled out the Ambulance and the Fire Truck, and started working on freeing the victims. We used the "Jaws" to pry open the doors and the "Cutters" to cut the roof off the vehicle. After removing the doors on the passenger side, I was able to get the passenger out and onto a backboard. We got her out just as the second Ambulance arrived to take her to the hospital. She woke up, complained about being hurt, and not fully aware of what had happened.
Her friend was still trapped in the car, inaccessible because of the crushed roof. We cut the roof off within 10 minutes, and now had full access to the interior of the car. There in the front seat of the car, was a young, pretty girl, her eyes still open, staring blankly up into the now visible sky.
As I assessed her condition, I knew almost instantly that there was nothing we could do for her. I had to make the difficult and painful decision to declare her dead. Then I had to fill out a written report. As I searched for her identification, I came across a Christmas card. The card's message was "May All of Your Dreams Come True This Christmas."
Sometimes, I really, really, really hate my job.
Please be safe this Holiday season.
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