By now, you've probably heard of the tragedy last Saturday at the Indiana State Fair. Five people were killed and forty-five others were injured when one of the concert stages collapsed during a high wind in a storm. This tragedy struck me pretty close to home, not only because I reside in Indiana, because two days prior I had been there with my four year old daughter at a sold out Big Time Rush concert. Even though our seats were about as far away as you can possibly get from the stage, I would never have wanted her to witness such a sight first hand...but as healthcare workers, we know that these things do happen and no one is immune from experiencing such horrible events.
Maybe you've seen the footage of the stage going down, at least on our local news channels they've played it many times. As disturbing as the images of a huge structure falling down into a huge crowd of people was, the footage of what happened afterward is what really brings tears to my eyes.
Instead of running away in terror, nurses, doctors, paramedics, and many other emergency personnel rushed to the scene of the accident. Footage of nurses off the clock triaging the victims and firemen and policemen carrying off the wounded on makeshift stretchers also were posted on the internet. Stories of people with lacerations, compound fractures, and other injuries were told on the news. My mind was absolutely blown when I think about how these people jumped in and started caring for strangers, with virtually no supplies or equipment. In the middle of a severe storm.
It stories like these, although tragic, that make me proud to be a nurse. Although I've mostly worked with patients with DNR status, healthy moms and children, and most recently in academia, I still consider myself capable of these kind of actions. What a gift.
When this happened, one of my friends had asked if I'd ever been in emergency situation such as this, but outside of work. Thankfully, no. It's never come up. But do you have stories? Please share your experiences of jumping in and helping when tragedy struck. Let everyone know how nurses, EMTs, techs, paramedics, respiratory therapists and anyone else I may not be thinking of at this second are the real heroes in life- not overpaid athletes or bad boy or bad girl recording artists.
Thank you for all you do. And also, my thoughts, prayers, and condolences for everyone who was at that Sugarland concert last week lost their loved ones in the accident.