Monday, February 22, 2010

What?! Be Prepared? You Were Serious?

When I answered the ringing phone I figured that the Boss would be a little tired and possibly a touch cranky but I wasn’t expecting a little tired and possibly a touch cranky and a whole lot panicky, too. It was one of those weekends. We were busy Friday night and busy all day Saturday and we knew that we’d be busy Sunday. I arrived home from an outdoor leadership training class while the Boss was up on post with the Captain and the Major waiting for General Mayhem to complete a Boy Scout Merit Badge College at the Army’s Lewis & Clark Center, the home of the Command and General Staff College. Captain Chaos was standing on some sort of metal railing when the Boss attempted to corral the children in preparation for returning home. Unbeknownst to her there were holes on the underside of the metal railing on which the Captain stood. The young girl had stuck a finger up inside the hole. So, when the Boss put her arm around the Captain and removed her from the metal railing, she did a fair impression of ripping the finger off the little girl’s hand.

The horror of the situation became readily apparent as the little girl started screaming while her finger spurted blood. The Boss grabbed our daughter’s hand and turned it over only to be confronted with loose flesh and a lot of blood, which immediately gave her a queasy stomach. She looked up and around the room she was in, a room filled with Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts and Scout Masters and Assistant Scout Masters, all of whom live by the motto “Be Prepared” and most of whom have been trained in First Aide.

“Does anyone here know first aide?” the Boss cried out.

That’s when she heard crickets chirping. Of the 100 to 150 scouts, Eagles, and leaders in the room, one adult leader looked at her and replied, “Um…no.”  Every other person in the area milled about with a case of S.O.H.K.S. (Sudden Onset Helen Keller Syndrome).

“But, you’re a Boy Scout!” she replied.

A security guard sat behind a nearby desk, directly underneath a portable defibrillator. The Boss looked at him and asked, “Do you have a first aid kit?”

He looked at her a moment before replying, “Um…no.”

She was looking at the guard and at the medical equipment while thinking, “Are you kidding me? You can save me from a heart attack but you don’t have a gauze pad?”

One person gave the Boss some paper toweling, for which she was grateful.  She used the paper towel to absorb blood while she hustled the Captain outside in order to scoop up snow and hold it on the poor girl’s hand in a poor man’s version of an ice pack. As soon as General Mayhem was dismissed from his last class she used the cell phone that we had loaned him to call me and ask if the Captain should go to the hospital. We decided that I would meet them at the emergency room of our local hospital. I was closer so I arrived first. When the Boss arrived the first thing that I noticed was that the girl was in the back seat of the car, smiling. A quick peek at the injury showed that it wasn’t bad enough for stitches. The finger wasn’t broken. There was very little swelling and the girl had a full range of motion. We took her home where I cleaned the wound, bandaged it, and sent the wee lass off to play. Her tetanus shot is current. We’re cool.

All of those scouts may not have been prepared, but it seems that I was. I think every little girl enjoys being saved by daddy, and Captain Chaos was no exception. She stood next to the sink while I patched her up, chatting merrily, explaining the finer points of Mickey Mouse band-aids.

Be prepared. It’s the Boy Scout motto. I need to share this story with General Mayhem’s scout troop and remind them that Be Prepared means BE PREPARED and not Be Occasionally Prepared or Be Prepared Once in a While or Hope to be Prepared. But, no fears. The girl is fine.


Teacher Mommy said...

Oh my. I think that yes, indeed, you need to share that story with them. Now I'm going to be much less confident when I stride out into the world, because I always assumed SOMEONE, likely a Boy Scout, was going to be prepared if there was some horrific event, and if you can't count on the Boy Scouts, then on whom can you count?!?!?

On the other hand, you got to be the hero. So that's kind of awesome.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful story, Arby! Sometimes I've found it necessary to tell young people (scouts or not) that they need to remember what is being taught in the moment for later. Seems that many are used to teaching being entertainment for the moment. Of the 100 I suspect many HAD earned a first aid badge. What a about an interest in helping?

Glad her hand was not seriously hurt. Yes, Daddy to the rescue is a good experience for every child. Barbara

Brownie said...

Every little girl's daddy should be the hero :)

That must have been very scary for both mother and daughter. But I am dumbfounded that so many scouts were around and no one was eager to help? Maybe Boss should have yelled "there's an extra merit badge in it for help!"

Oklahoma Granny said...

My head started spinning when I read what happened to your sweet princess. So glad it wasn't serious but still, the sight of blood gets me every time.

I do believe we have a first aid kit in each of our vehicles but I'm going to double check with my husband tonight.

twisted said...

So glad to hear she is okay. My heart was pounding there for a moment.

As to your post. I did let Rocketboy know it was okay to pound the person scaring him, just that it would be proper to stop after one hit when you realize it's a pesty brother. Herogian will have to learn to stop the hard way. If it had been anyone but him scaring me, I would have pounded him too.

TobyBo said...

lol. As the sister of 2 Eagle Scouts, I can attest to how often they actually were prepared when emergencies arose. Not many. But at least they were unprepared in an educated fashion.

Kathleen said...

Awww...I'm glad you got to come to her rescue! A little girl needs to know that when everyone else fails her, she can count on her daddy. (Shame on those other scout daddies!!)

The_Kid said...

100 scouts and nada? Wow. Happy she is ok of course.

GingerB said...

Holy crapola. This made my heart skip a beat. I am glad you saved the day, Dad.