Today Carol and I went on a trip to Everett to meet with, thank and hug the firefighter who took such special care of Sheena as she passed. We learned of him and his story last spring and we finally got together. We met with him and four others who responded to the wreck that killed her and Tony. We met at the fire station. There were at least six to eight people in the room as we spent an hour talking about that night from our perspective and of course from their perspective. Among the professionals in the room was a Battalion Chief.
When we first sat at the table Scott started tearing up. I handed him a Kleenex. This reaction told us a LOT about his character. Scott is the one who took charge of Sheena. He felt her pulse, it was weak and she wasn’t breathing very well. He bagged her, they started an IV. He stayed with her and comforted her as they cut and pried her from the wreckage. Tony died instantly. It took about ten minutes to get Sheena out of the car. They wanted to get her to Harborview. She coded on the way so she went to Providence in Everett. You know how that part of the story ends.
We learned a LOT today. Sheena was not conscious or terrified, she was not calling out for us and she was NOT alone. This caring professional was NOT going to give up on her, he was going to assure her that people were doing their best to get her out and calmly stayed with her. He never left her when she finally was extracted from her car he held her in his arms and got her into the ambulance. He was with her when she coded he held her hand as she passed. He told us that he did what he KNEW we would have done had we been there. He did what he would want another firefighter to do if HIS daughter were in a similar circumstance. (God forbid)
We also learned that those seemingly faceless professionals who respond to these horrid wrecks DO care. They care a LOT. To this day, almost three years after THIS wreck, the fact that a big, burly man like Scott still tears up when he saw us makes clear that there is still beauty and honor in this world. That there ARE angels in the world and they don’t always LOOK like angels, sometimes they look like big, burly men.
Our visit with these compassionate professionals today did NOT make our pain go away. BUT it DID make this whole awful situation just a little easier to bear. Thank you and God Speed Station One EFD.