Am I an angel?

The bell rings. One long bell. My eyes go to the scrolling LED display high on the wall and I see it's an ambulance call. I also see that it's a personal injury after an assault and it's 2 jurisdictions away. It's been a busy night and we've been called into this one because the ambulances in the neighboring areas are all occupied.

I grab the printout to be sure of the address and am deep in the map book for that area by the time Helga hoists herself into the driver's seat. It's a long drive but we don't get lost. Once we get close, the lights of the fire trucks and police cars act as beacons, guiding us in.

As I'm grabbing my bags, I ask the nearest cop what happened.

"She and her boyfriend were arguing and he stabbed her. She ran to a neighbor's house, in there."

"You got the boyfriend in custody?"



One of these days it's going to be me vs. assailant. I'm not looking forward to that but I'm sure it will end badly for the assailant. (Let's see, I'm 6'4" (2 meters) and 245 lbs (110Kilos), yep, bad day)

In the house I find a crying 35 year old woman from El Salvador sitting in a chair and being attended to by 3 firefighters. She is being administered oxygen by an infant non-rebreather mask(NRB) (about the size of her nose) and has a wad of trauma sponges on her neck. Hoo boy!

To the firefighters: "Hey, fellas. What do we got?" as I pull an adult NRB out of my oxygen mask.

"We didn't have any adults in our aide bag on the engine." says one of them apologetically.

"No worries. What happened?"

"We don't know, we don't speak Spanish."

"Hola, Señorita. Me llamo Maddog. Me voy a ayudarte. Digame que pasó."
"Hello, Miss. My Name is Maddog. I'm going to help you. Tell me what happened"

She cries and, through the tears tells me that her boyfriend is not happy that she's renting a room in a house that is populated by men. He stabbed her with a knife.

"¿Un cuchillo de cocina?"
"A kitchen knife?", I ask.

"Sí, sí. Al primero vez, un grande pero yo lo luchó. Él tiró de mi pelo y me lanzó en el suelo."
"Yes, at first a big one but I fought him. He pulled my hair and threw me on the ground."

I see that chunks of her long, black hair are missing.

"¿Con qué tipo de cuchillo él le apuñaló?"
"What kind of knife did he stab you with?"

"Un pequeño, para las frutas."
"A small one, A fruit knife."

I gingerly pull away the dressing from her neck to find a small incision at the angle of her jaw. right to the bone of her mandible. Two inches further back, and I'd be bagging a corpse. Wow!

She's upset. She's crying. She's scared.

"¡Oye! A mí, hay seguridad. Yo, y las policia, vamos a protectarte. ¿Me intenedes? En mí ambulancia, es un espacio seguro. Es importante que usted va al hospital. Voy a tomarle allí. ¿Bien?"
"Listen! With me, you're safe. I and the police are going to protect you. Understand? My ambulance is a safe place. It's important that you go to the hospital, I'll take you there. OK?"

"¡Sí, sí gracias, gracias, gracias!"
"Yes, yes, thank you, thank you, thank you!"

In the ambulance, I take the time to explain everything that is happening. The neighbors have gotten her a change of clothes to replace her blood-soaked dress. I'm gentle with her. She's scared and fragile.

"¿Porqué eres bueno?¿Es usted un ángel?"
"Why are you so good? Are you an angel?"



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