I remember one of the first times I saved someone’s life. I was just a kid then and I didn’t have the experience that I have now. Although, one never really gets used to that sort of thing.
It was a quiet Saturday night and my ex and I had decided to stay in tonight and have a relaxing movie night. We were all settled in nestled on our couch watching the latest action flick when all of the sudden a loud screech followed by a deafening BOOM sounded from outside. It was almost as if the sound came from inside our place it was so loud. I sprang up threw on my shoes, swung open the front door and bounded outside not even thinking twice. “Where are you going? That didn’t sound safe.” She said as I was running towards the sound of the boom. “ I gotta see if everything is okay!” I shouted back. We lived in an apartment complex on the corner of a street just outside of a particularly “bad” area of the town. Our place was just far enough to provide solace from the craziness of the city, but every now and then some of the action would spill over into our part. Tonight was one of those times.
I leapt over the wall of our apartment complex with ease just in time to witness the perpetrator in what I could now see was a hit-and-run drive away. The car fleeing the scene as hastily as it could considering the damage it had sustained was leaking fluid all over the asphalt that would later provide a trail for the police leading them straight to the offender. I noted the make and model of escaping vehicle and quickly turned my attention to the other car. It was about midnight and luckily there weren’t many people on the road, which made it safer for me to get to the car. It was an eighties era Honda Civic and was wrapped around a light pole twisted and mangled. Smoke was pouring from the engine block and the ground was covered in coolant and gasoline. I grew closer to the vehicle and out of the corner of my eye I noticed another guy fast approaching. “He must have heard the crash too.” I thought to myself. We stopped in front of the driver side door which was bent horribly out of shape. “Ey man there’s fluid everywhere.” The other guy said pointing at the ground. “Yeah we need to get him out of there.” I replied. The driver was starting to come to. His airbag had not deployed and he had been knocked out upon impact. We grabbed the door and pried it open. I knew that in any other automobile accident you weren’t supposed to remove them from the vehicle because they might have a neck or back injury that required stabilization before you moved them. However, in this situation it was necessary because of the billowing smoke pouring from the engine block and the extremely flammable fluids spewing from the wreckage.
Bracing his head and neck we gently pulled him from the wreckage and set him down on the curb about 50 feet away. Sirens rang in the distance. Someone must have called 911. A police cruiser screeched to a halt in front of me and I told him to follow the trail from the leaky car to find the other person involved. Shortly three more squad cars an ambulance and a fire truck pulled up to the scene shortly after the first car sped off. The medics shooed us away and began to assess the driver of the mangled car. Right before the firefighters doused the car with water tiny flames began to shoot up from under the car. We had pulled the guy out just in time.
After some questioning from the police I was free to return to my movie night. The next week at work the mother of the driver of Honda approached me with a news paper clipping in her hand. “Is this you?”
“Yes ma’am that’s me” Apparently she had found out who I was from the police and had come into my work to thank me for saving her son’s life. It turns out he suffered a lot of internal damage but was going to be okay. The driver of the other car was found and arrested that night too. She hugged me and burst into tears. I’ll never forget that feeling. I wasn’t looking for recognition for what I did but knowing that I had saved someone’s life and quite possibly changed the course of history for that family felt good. It felt beyond good. It was then that I knew, that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.