One afternoon back in 1983 or so, I stumbled upon what looked like a minor fender-bender at N. 1st Street and Cornhusker Highway. I was a young sergeant, and prided myself on a willingness to handle such on-view events without burdening the officers on my squad.
Stepping out of my patrol car to start the paperwork, I suddenly realized that the station wagon involved in the collision way sitting on top of a human being--its driver--who had been ejected in the collision. A gaggle of four or five gawkers was looking on as the screaming victim was being seriously burned by the vehicle's exhaust system.
I barked a few commands. The onlookers grabbed fenders and bumpers, and literally lifted the weight of a two-ton vehicle. In a genuine emergency, a small group of people can muster super-human strength. My part was easy: I grasped the victim's ankles and pulled him from under the car.
For this act of other peoples' heroism, I was subsequently awarded the Lincoln Police Department's Lifesaving Award. It's in a box in the basement, I think. Not that I wasn't appreciative, but there are a few other actions, never known by management, I hold more dear in my heart. This is true of virtually every other police officer, firefighter, and dispatcher I know.
Last night, a Lincoln firefighter who had read my recent blog post about the LUCAS device emailed me a story of a save, told with the same sense of wonder and amazement that I felt that evening, and on that handful of occasions no one else ever knew about.
We will save more lives with this device and this training. We will return victims, too young to die, to the bosom of their families; to grow old and bounce grand children and great grandchildren on their knee; and in a tiny, tiny, infinitesimally small way, I will take satisfaction in my minuscule role in facilitating this.
No man or woman could dream of such a fulfilling calling in life.