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