"Your flight is a go. Heading of 331 degrees for 31 miles. Your patient is a 12 year old female currently being extricated."
We take off, make our initial call to dispatch, and get more information:
"Your patient is the unrestrained passenger of a car involved in a head-on collision. Your ground contact is *******410 on Fire/Mutual Aid."
In 18 minutes we are circling the scene. The ground folks have done a fantastic job setting up the LZ... it's a four-lane State Highway with a <- -> turn lane in the center. In our initial radio contact they warn me of wires to the West and South of my landing area. Our landing is normal, my crew walks our stretcher to the scene while I tidy up my paperwork, then disembark the aircraft to play tail-rotor guard. There is nice housing on both sides of the road here and all residents are standing outside their homes watching the activity.
In 8 minutes my crew is walking my way with our young patient securely strapped to the stretcher. We load her, button the aircraft up, and get underway.
My crew discusses the fact that one of her legs is shorter than the other and her foot on that leg is pointed in an odd angle, but other than that her injuries don't seem too serious.
We transport her to the Children's hospital. I take off to refuel, then return to retrieve my crew.
As we lift to return to our base my nurse says, "Well Greybeard, it's a good thing they called us. In the ER her blood pressure dropped and they rushed her to the operating room."
One of the reasons first responders will call us is due to an indicator called "Mechanism of injury", (referred to in the animation I posted a little while back). If it's apparent to them that forces in an accident are high enough that someone could be hurt seriously, they call us just to be safe. This little girl is now in trouble, but since someone was concerned about the forces involved in the accident, she will now be the recipient of the best possible care she can receive, and in a timely basis.
The rest of our shift is without disturbance.
At shift change the phone rang with an update-
A torn aorta.
The BEST from everyone just wasn't good enough.
Chatting with us as we loaded her and not in unbearable pain, even when we heard she had been rushed to the OR we had high hopes for her.
Now she's gone.
It's one thing for an adult to make the decision they won't "click" their seatbelt on.
It's another thing to not insure your children are safely buckled in.
I call that neglect.
And I hope our Law Enforcement personnel start holding negligent parents responsible, even when they're mourning the loss of their children.
If we truly want change, we have to DEMAND change.