Some of you may have read about the big car accident that happened in the middle of the night here in Fillmore. Five college students returning to school after a road trip didn’t quite make it back for school Tuesday morning. One will never make it back again.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m taking the EMT-Basic course, which is turning out to be quite a bit of fun, even if it is sucking up a good deal of my writing time. I’ve also been running with the local ambulance as a driver, since we’re short-handed right now. At this point I’m mostly playing fetch and carry, since I’m not certified for anything but CPR, but I’m learning a lot on the job by watching everyone else.

That’s why I had my pager on Monday night when my husband (a 911 dispatcher) set it off. I can’t go into any details about the accident except to say I wouldn’t have known it was a car if I hadn’t seen the wheel attached to the corner sticking up in the air. Also, the two worst-injured patients were not wearing their seat belts and were ejected. The one that was wearing a seat belt, but was reclined (at least, we think it was him, things were a bit crazy that night) had pretty serious injuries, but less than the other two, and the two who were sitting upright in their seats with their belts fastened walked away to get help.

There’s a big difference in how badly these passengers were hurt, so please, please everyone, wear your seatbelts. Don’t recline your seat back more than fifteen or twenty degrees, pay attention to the road, and don’t drive drowsy.

Despite the rush of adrenaline that floods my system when the pagers goes off, I’d really rather not be called out to scrape people off the side of the freeway. But since people will continue to have car accidents, I’m glad I work with a crew of top-notch volunteers who take their jobs seriously. And here’s a prayer that the other four students will recover as quickly as possible, both physically and emotionally.