Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Happy to start with a wrecked car

Yesterday was a good day, for me at least.

In the early afternoon I was on the phone to a friend in Beechworth about a small legal matter when my pager began to squeal for a road crash rescue.  My friend is an SES volunteer as well and so she understood why I had to end the call very quickly.

The accident was in Tatura.  I had to go the long way because the Toolamba bridge is still closed, and so I was driving like a bat out of Hell at a perfectly safe and legal speed.  I got as far as Kialla when a crew from our Unit got to the scene and confirmed that there was no person trapped.  We stood down.  Happily it seems the driver's injuries weren't too serious.

Usually a standdown like this would be a dreadful anticlimax: what does one do with a whole heap of unused adrenaline?  This one wasn't.  I was too proud of how well the Unit had handled the turnout.  It was clear we would be light on numbers because of the holidays, so our duty officer activated a backup unit without any fuss.  The members who turned out are road crash-rescue trained but don't have colossal experience, but they didn't stand around wringing their hands or hoping a veteran member would arrive: they just got on the road to do the job they'd been called to do.  There was no kibbitzing or free advice over the messaging system: only the communications that needed to be sent to have the members respond as efficiently as possible.

If we're honest, I kind of needed this.  I've felt a little SES-ed out lately: tired and fed up with it all.  Seeing the team respond in such a skilful manner was just what the doctor ordered. That the driver wasn't badly hurt is even better.  I have to tell you there are a lot worse ways we could have started 2017!

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