Sunday, June 12, 2016

Surreal Sunday

God was on our side this morning

So it's a little hard to enjoy a leisure Sunday breakfast celebration for Kira's recent class president victory when the restaurant's large screen TV is constantly showing scenes of the massacre in Florida, with subtitles no less.

And Jada keeps asking "What happened Daddy, what happened?"  You would think by now even a 9-year-old would be all too familiar with what happened.  Maybe it's better she doesn't understand, not that I can fully explain it anyway.

 Jada and my drone helping with Kira's campaign (sort of)

Then on the way to dropping them off at the horse farm a few minutes before 11:00 AM just over the Amherst town line into Belchertown I hear a call for a "man down, possibly not breathing, CPR in progress" at an apartment complex very near the horse farm

Before long four police vehicles, an ambulance and Engine 1 scream by me enroute to the scene.

 APD on scene for "unattended death"

Since it was less than a mile from my destination I decide to stop by after dropping the girls off so I'm in no particular hurry -- but I am doing all of the 55 mph allowed by law on that particular long straightaway.

Suddenly a vehicle coming in the opposite direction (towards Amherst) less than 100 feet away tries to take a left turn into the large Christ Community Church parking lot, but stops dead in my lane at the last split-second sight of me, with my mouth probably wide open in amazement.

Fortunately, I still have karate reflexes as I instinctively knew brakes alone would never stop me in time.

I swerved to the right smacking and going slightly airborne over the curbing (the black rounded kind not the square granite blocks that would have done significant damage) onto a greenway and came to a controlled stop after rolling about 150 feet.

Jada, buckled in the back seat, thought it all was pretty exciting, but Kira -- buckled in the front seat so much closer to the action -- was practically hyperventilating.

After a deep breath and talking with the elderly woman who profusely apologized, I realized something that has always bothered me about public safety understaffing.

Since I was driving a little Nissan Juke and she was driving one of those big old Daddy's kind of Buick there's no doubt in my mind that a collision avoided by only a centimeter and a split second would have resulted in the need for two, possible three ambulances.  Or a Medical Examiner.

And almost at that exact moment Dispatch (the "729") was toning out to off duty firefighters to come in "for station coverage."  The unattended death at the nearby apartment complex and at least one other medical call had once again overwhelmed on-duty staffing.

So that means my daughters and I would have had to await ambulances responding from Belchertown, Northampton, or South Hadley.  Adding agonizing minutes to a response where  additional minutes could spell the difference between life and death.

Only minutes after Engine 4 Call Force personnel reported in for "station coverage" they were called out to 5-story  Clark House for "smoke in the building" which fortunately turned out to be due to pot left on stove


Anonymous said...

I can explain what happened in Florida: Not all cultures are a product of the Western Christian Liberal Enlightenment -- not everyone sees the unique value of human life.

This "unattended death likely wasn't an OD, but a lot are -- and only a culture of life would expend resources & effort in attempting to prevent OD deaths. You do know how the ChiComs solved their Opium (Heroin) problem, don't you?

And Larry, if that twit had managed to detonate his explosive vest, we'd have a lot more people dead, this is about Islam, not guns, that we need to fear.

But as your day demonstrates, the greatest risk to you and yours is a Buick. Statistically, you are more likely to be shot by a police officer than a terrorist -- the risk is so low that children really ought not be frightened.

Larry Kelley said...

The likelihood of being hit by lightening is statistically pretty minuscule, but I still wouldn't run around the Cherry Hill Golf Course greens during a violent thunderstorm waiving a golf club over my head.

Anonymous said...

How about an Aluminum Ladder at a working fire?

Although Golf Courses are particularly hazardous -- I forget why but remember that ledges & golf courses are places you really don't want to be unless you really have to.

And seen this:

Anonymous said...

False Flag, FBI "sting". The exwife said he had mental problems

Anonymous said...


NBC news reporting perp made 911 call pledging allegiance to ISIS.
He's already tied to them.

Anonymous said...

Another hair raising experience for an ambulance chaser. I guess that's why they always say "Nothing to see move along." Next time you may not be so lucky?

Larry Kelley said...

I'm sure that would bring you unmitigated joy.

Anonymous said...

No it wouldn't Larry, I do have a lot of respect for you. I was just pointing out next time you may not be so lucky. Damn, your kids were in the car.

Larry Kelley said...

Yes they were.

And it had nothing to do with the ambulance, fire truck and four police vehicles that I was NOT chasing.

If you were paying attention you would have noticed that they all passed me enroute to the call.

Anonymous said...

So, your daughter's class election was so important to you that you had the tv on at your breakfast table, and now you wonder what to tell your kids? Maybe you should turn the tv off.

Anonymous said...

Whatever. It is your blog and you have always been infallible. Good luck with that.

Larry Kelley said...

I have little doubt that someday my luck will run out while pursuing a story (probably via drunk driver), which is fine.

Because the chances are almost certain the kids will not be in the car with me.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are all safe after this scare. Also glad you reminded everyone about following the speed limits.
I know the fear of seeing the head lights a wrong way driver on a 4 lane road who was heading straight toward you. Only quick thinking by slowing down and putting on the breaks save us from being hit Head on since it gave the driver time to veer off to the side of the road; however, the three cars behind us rear-ended each other since they were going to fast and we're not leaving enough space between each other's cars.
Our first responders from the police to the rescue crews were the best. I don't think anyone was seriously hurt, but I would like reinforce that speed limits do mean something. Double lines on a road mean something important and should be follow for you own safety and that of others.
It's time that all drivers respect the 30 miles per hour or 55 miles per hour signs. After my experience, I try very hard to follow the speed limits and obey the road lines; however, many pass me and honk their horns or even show greater displeasure.
Life is precious.

Rebecca said...

Sorry this happened to you. Glad there were no injuries. We killed our tv a long time ago but I won't debate that.
Since the old lady didn't hit you your auto insurance may say this accident was your fault if you file a claim for the repairs or file an accident report etc. Be aware.

keithw said...

Glad that you and the kiddos are ok, Larry.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear you were all safe! Life is too damn short and can change in a blink of an eye. I guess I hope you would reflect on that and your role in others pain. Take a real moment Larry, please.

Larry Kelley said...

Thanks Keith!

Dr. Ed said...

Following up on 6:20, always remember everything to the left of the yellow line is "enemy territory" and always do the same multiple of the posted speed. If you are going 25 in a 50 because it is snowing, that means drop to 12 when the road drops to 25.

And if you are going 100 in the 50, make damn sure to slow down to 50 in the 25 (preferably more) or you're gonna wind up in your glove compartment. I've seen it.

Anonymous said...

Slow down!!

Larry Kelley said...

On my way to District Court this morning I took the long way so I could drive by the scene again to replay it in my head.

As I approached the driveway to the Church I slowed down to 40 mph and two vehicles immediately passed me (in a no passing zone).

I'm virtually certain had I been going that slow yesterday I would probably have tried to let the brakes alone stop me and still would have made enough contact with the vehicle to set off the air bags.

And my 14-year-old was traumatized enough as it was without such a result.

Larry Kelley said...

Actually CAN 4:50 PM (yesterday)

We went out to eat at her favorite breakfast restaurant.

Ralph Reed said...

Glad you're not physically hurt. I can remember having a lot of foreboding about driving cars when I was a teenager to the point that I hitch-hiked to school in rural Maine after a high speed stolen car wreck in ancient oaks went my way when I was 16. It's valuable work to remind your readers of the stakes out there with such a personal narrative.

Anonymous said...

I am going to say this -- there is no excuse to be IN a stolen car.

10 years in Thomaston might have cured you of that...