His wife says he complained of a headache and went to lie down 40 minutes ago. She can’t wake him, and neither can we.
The best thing we can do is get him to a surgeon fast. He begins to seize as we pull into the hospital.
He lies in the basement, behind a bar. I think this is what they call a ‘man cave.’ He still has a pulse, but he isn’t breathing. No one knows when they saw him last.
We know the routine. Breathe for him; oxygen, IV, Narcan. His breathing comes back, but he doesn’t wake up. Sometimes we don’t get there before the brain damage sets in.
Shootings are easy. Plug the obvious holes, support blood pressure, and drive as fast as we can to the surgeons. The PD usually sends an officer along with us, in case the patient makes a dying declaration.
“Is there anything I can do to help?” asks the Detective Sergeant as we begin CPR. . .
The phone rings in the car on my last day of vacation. “Hey, Chief, what’s up?”
“I wanted you to hear this from me. Are you somewhere where you can hear bad news?”
I have buried my share of retired members. It’s part of the job.
Later this week I will bury my second friend who died by his own hand. This is NOT supposed to be part of my job.
I’d be lying to say I was OK tonight.
I will be though. There will be canine hugs, and feline cuddles, some tears, some screaming into the void, lots of loud music. . .
And later this week there will be another memorial service.