Yesterday afternoon I had a call from a friend saying that there had been an RTC by the train station, someone had gone under a lorry, emergency services were in attendance, the road was closed and people were seeking an alternative route. My immediate thought was "oh my, I hope that the injured person is comfortable". Then my phone rang again and another friend told me to either walk to school or be prepared for delays, then another phone call saying the same as the previous 2 callers and could I advise as many people as possible.
Of course I could, because I'm like that. At no point did I think "bloody hell, how inconvient". I thought of the injured person, the witnesses, the people involved and the emergency services.
However my blood boiled with incandescent rage a little while later when I heard someone complaining that it had taken her over an hour to drive across town, "yes madam" said the shop assistant "there has been a serious accident", now you would expect at that point the complainer would say "oh my gosh, I didn't know, I do hope that the injured person is ok", but no she grumpily said "well it's taken me an hour". I bit my tongue and inside I raged. When I got to the till I said to the shop assistant "there may well be ghastly traffic because there has been an accident and someone is in a bad way, but at least we will be going home tonight".
As I drove home, via a very circutous route, all I could think of was my old Police colleagues and those in the emergency services who deal with incidents such as these on a daily basis.
Next time you see the Police, Fire and Ambulance at the scene of an incident remember:-
They are doing their job. They are specially trained to deal with it.
They are not being rude if they don't engage in chit-chat, they are concentrating on the incident.
The first person on scene may be told what has happened but he or she might not be prepared for what they see.
They are human, they have families, friends, colleagues. They have feelings.
When they stop the traffic at an incident they don't intentionally mean to hold you up. Safety is paramount.
A diversion isn't in place to disrupt your day, it is quite simply because the road is unsafe or blocked.
If you are stuck in traffic and you are annoyed at the Police on point duty just think they are doing it for your safety or for scene preservation.
When the motorway is closed because someone is on a bridge that person on the bridge might feel they haven't got anywhere else to go.
Your night might be disturbed by the sound of the overhead helicopter or sirebs but for some it's a reassuring noise; it could be the last thing that people hear; families at their wits' end are grateful that their loved one who is missing is being looked for; you know something has happened and inside with the doors & windows locked might just be the best place to be.
When you see a house or building on fire think of the people who live and work there, who may have lost everything. Spare a thought for the firemen and women who have dragged people overcome by smoke from a burning building, or who have been dragged out by their crew when they have been overcome by heat.
The Ambulance driver who is battling through the traffic has to get to someone who needs their help, more than you need to just pop into the shop and park on double yellow lines thereby obstructing the traffic.
When you see officers walking children to a car from their home you have no idea what has happened, so don't even begin to imagine.
If you are stuck in traffic and you grunt and moan because you can't see up ahead, be grateful for the Emergency Services.
People stuck in cars are safe, dry and warm. Officers on scene are dealing with incidents in all weathers and working in all conditions. When it is pouring down with rain they are there, not complaining, working together for a positive outcome.
Think of our Emergency Services when they get to the end of their shift - having saved lives, made buildings safe, given directions, watched as someone jumped, dealt with shoplifters, rescued people from buildings, been spat at and threatened, have had to go round to a family and the knock on the door needs no words, have tried all they can to keep someone alive, have returned a missing or confused person safely home - because these people, our Emergency Services, have kept you safe and have kept crime, fear and disorder away.
Remember all of these things when you whinge and moan and be very grateful you got home.
When I get home and close my door I am safe and I am home. When I am safely home I am grateful.