Wednesday, April 6, 2016
E is for Emergency
I am not what you would call handy. Other than very basic maintenance, tools are useless in my hands. This is odd since my brothers and father can completely break down a vehicle into its individual pieces and put it back together without so much as a Lego instruction manual. I can change the oil (until I get a new car) and change a tire. That's about the limit of my mechanical skills.
I can operate a hammer and screwdriver, but would need someone right next to me to tell me what we are doing to keep me properly on task. I can help if it's simple, but keep an eye on me. Otherwise, I just get in the way and end up causing damage that then has to be fixed. It's usually better if I'm not there.
But this doesn't mean that I am totally useless. I am great to have around in a crisis.
When all hell breaks lose and a situation occurs that causes many to go into panic mode, that doesn't happen to me. I don't know why, but I have the ability to stay calm and start handling the situation. On over a dozen occasions, I have either been involved in or came upon a crisis and took charge to make sure things were handled.
At 17 years old, when a youth group boating accident removed the calf muscle of one of my friends, the adult in the boat lost his mind. It was my brothers and myself who placed the muscle back in position, wrapped it in a wet towel and instructed the adult to take us back to shore. We even took our friend to the hospital, because we didn't want to waste any time waiting for "the one responsible" to get his head together.
This trait was especially useful when I was a 911 dispatcher. My most important job in this role is to find out the situation so I could get help to them as soon as possible. Projecting a calming presence was often all that was needed to get the person on the other end of the phone to calm down enough to give me the information I needed. I even got a Certificate of Commendation once for keeping my cool and doing what needed to be done during a particularly stressful hostage situation.
I may not always know exactly what needs to be done (due to my lack of common skills) to fix an emergency situation, but I can keep my head about me to start the process of getting help and protecting others from further injury or panic.