Thursday, October 05, 2006

what would you do?

I was walking down the valley mall today when, from a cross the road I head a man scream.

I couldn’t work out if he was screaming in pain or for help, and when I looked across the road I saw a young man struggling as he lay on the pavement pinned down by two larger, older men.

Thee was another young bloke hovering around them. He looked down at the scene before him and was shifting from foot to foot like he didn’t know what to do. Fight or flight. I thought he could do with some back up and encouragement so I shouted across the road and darted through traffic.

I reached the other side of the road and took in the situation. The guy on the ground had blood pouring from his mouth; I could hear a lady who was standing near by talking to the emergency department.

I was amazed that this could happen just metres from a police station. Though we were at the “bad part” of the valley. Outside the peep shows and seedy strip clubs.

I got closer to the guy who wasn’t quite sure what to do and was about to suggest to him that we give these guys a gentle kick to the head or at least help this guy out when I took a closer look at the bloke on the ground, and I stopped short.

I’ve always wondered how I would react when confronted with a situation like this.

The bloke on the ground being pinned down was convulsing violently. Clearly seizing. Blood was frothing from his mouth because he had apparently bitten into his tongue badly.

What do you do in this situation? How do you help?

I have my first aid certificate and I’ve done the refreshers. I know the basics. But nothing prepares you for this.


the ambulance arrived. he was unconcious by now and they started trying to revive him right there on the street. it was confronting.

By now the poor bloke had stopped shaking as much as before, but then came the screams. Loud. Really loud. As if he was in a lot of pain. The hair all over my body stood on end. I’ve heard the term “blood curdling scream” before, but today I experienced it.

So helpless. Screams. So loud. People were stopping to look. Cars were slowing down.

I ran across the intersection to the police station to let them know what had happened. It wasn’t much, but the guys on the ground with him seemed to have it under control. One of them was telling him that he was a first aid officer. I’m not sure if that was true or if he was just trying to calm him a little and maybe stop the screams.

The ambulance arrived in record time. He was unconscious by now, but at least he was in better hands.


Not sure how to end this post. Do I say ‘just another day in the valley’? or should I talk about how lucky I am that I am fit and healthy? Or is this a lesson in how we react in times of crisis?

In any case, this was shocking.

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