Sunday, November 23, 2008
passed out in the snow...
One of the things I do at work is go out in our van (with someone else) and drive around looking for people. We hand out condoms, safe rides home, and a watchful eye. People in our city know that we will treat difficult situations with compassion and so they call us, often before they call police or ambulance.
Last week a concerned taxi driver stopped by about a man passed out in a deserted area of town, lying on the road. So, our faithful van patrol headed out to the rescue.
We would have taken him back to the shelter to warm up and assess the situation, but we couldn't rouse him, thus, we had to call an ambulance, and there began our 20 minute wait in the wind, as we tried to keep ourselves, and of course the man, warm. I'll admit, I was SO not dressed for the weather, riding around in the nice warm van gives you a false sense of security I suppose. Then, after tearing apart the van (which I got in trouble for not tidying later) I discovered that we didn't have a single blanket. I covered the man's torso with my sweater and put my scarf under his face (which was freezing in the snow) and we waited, and waited, and waited, all the while trying to rouse the man who was eventually able to mumble his name and answer a few questions.
When the paramedics final arrived they were creeping down the street without even their flashing lights on. Drives me crazy, I'm waving at them to hurry up, and they're creeping. Then they're rude to us, and rude to the poor guy. Sigh. I don't care how many frozen people you've pulled out of the snow that day they each deserve the same respect.