Monday, September 15, 2008

"...you may face certain death"

So said the National Weather Service spokesman last Friday.

"If you do not evacuate...you may face certain death". How much plainer could anyone be? Hurricane Ike was approaching the Texas coastline; it was, according to Bob VanDillen 'the biggest one I've ever seen' - not necessarily in strength, but in sheer size. It was a monster storm, and people were being told to evacuate, to get out of it's path.

Some did.....but others didn't. They thought they could ride it out, that it wouldn't be as bad as the weatherman said, that they'd be ok.

They thought that all the way up until their homes started flooding; until the power went out and the winds took off roofs and collapsed walls. Then they realized they COULDN'T ride it out, and they started calling 911.

I'm probably going to sound like a real bitch here, but why the fuck should I, as an EMS provider, have to put myself in danger to go rescue someone who CHOSE to ignore advice from various agencies - agancies who are all, btw, infinitely better equipped to estimate the size and power of an approaching hurricane than Joe Blow who lives in it's path - and who decided to stay in their house, despite being told that they could DIE if they didn't leave?

PISS POOR PLANNING ON YOUR PART DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN EMERGENCY ON MY PART.

That's the saying, at least. When it comes right down to it, we're obligated to go and rescue folks from the consequences of their poor decisions because we're EMS workers and that's what we do. Just as firemen rescue people from buring homes because they let their kids play with matches, just as police officers arrest folks who drive drunk and just as EMT's pick up the pieces of people who decided that seatbelts weren't for them, so we all have an obligation to go and help people who chose to ignore evacuation orders and who find themselves in over their heads (literally) when the hurricane hits.

After all, if we decided that we weren't going/didn't have to help people who made piss poor choices, we'd all be out of jobs.

2 comments:

Mother Jones RN said...

Seriously, I was thinking the same thing. The dummies refused to leave, so how did that become our problem. No, I don't think you are being unreasonable. It burns my tail feathers to think that people like you have to risk your lives because a bunch of stupid people made a very bad decision.

MedicThree said...

It isn't as fun if you follow the advice of "the man".

Besides, Darwin works in mysterious ways...