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Old 05-14-2020, 11:33 PM   #1
coachk
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Angry First on the scene of an accident today...

I was driving down highway on my way home and saw smoke next to a stopped train, so I pulled over and was gonna call the fire dept to let them know we just had a grass fire...looked in my rearview mirror and saw that it was a car that was on fire. I jumped out and headed towards the car with another guy that had stopped...his wife was on the phone with 911. We ran up towards the car that was already burning pretty good and noticed a body about 5 ft away from the car...i went to it and the other guy went to check the car to see if anyone else was inside. I got to him and he was laying on his side with his face down in the grass...I called to him to see if he was conscious but he wasn't moving, moaning, nothing...i rolled his head to the side to check him for a pulse but he was already gone...nobody else was in the car so we carried him away from the burning car and waited for everyone to arrive. I had a moving blanket in my pickup and used it to cover him up...60 year old man coming out of a private gate crossing the tracks heading to lunch. Messed me up pretty good today, not gonna lie... I'm gonna see his open eyes looking at me for the rest of my life. Don't know how you EMT/Fire/Police guys deal with those type of things day in and day out. I haven't had a beer in 4 years but may need a few to go to sleep tonight. Would appreciate some prayers for the man and his family
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:37 PM   #2
hoythunter28
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Been there more times than I care to as an LEO. But sir, go talk to someone and work through it. It will always been in the memory bank, but you can sure help yourself by getting that help now.
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:46 PM   #3
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Through my LE career I have seen some horrific things. Some that are no big deal and others that bug you. My suggestion is stay away from alcohol as it will make it worse, Make sure you eat. second talk about it as much as you can with your loved ones, debriefing these situations are extremly important. After a few weeks and not getting better, go speak to a professional and ask about EMDR. Sorry this happened to you but remember, many would have driven right by so I thank you for not and stopping to help.

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Old 05-14-2020, 11:48 PM   #4
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Man I feel for ya. I was heading to a fishing spot about 20 years ago, and came up on a boat collision due to fog. Jerked 3 folks out of the water. One was split in half from the boat/prop. Not a good day. We loaded up our boat and went home after that. Still hate effing fog. Not to mention the crazy dreams...
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:56 PM   #5
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I feel for you man. My brother is an EMT and my mom an ER tech, I couldnít even begin to imagine being there for some of the stories they tell. Talk to someone. Good on you for being there to help.


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Old 05-15-2020, 12:05 AM   #6
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Default First on the scene of an accident today...

Itís not easy for the majority of people. Hell most. I used to be a RN. Probably going to go back to it because I loved my job. But Iíve dealt with deceased patients and can relate. I deal with it in my own way that wouldnít make sense to anyone else by separating myself from the situation and turning off my feelings and shutting down my emotions. It seems cold but itís what I have to do and accept it. I still have all the empathy in the world for the family. And I still say a small prayer then get back to work because I have other lives in my hands. It never gets easier and each one sucks as bad as the first because you never want to lose anyone regardless. I highly recommend you talk to someone. Hell, you can talk to me if you want. Iíve been there. I know exactly what you are saying and what you described. And believe me, from experience, alcohol wonít make a situation like this better. Talking and getting it out in the open will. Even if itís a stranger. Seriously, Iím here if you want to vent. Just know that it always was, always is, and always will be in Godís hands.

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Old 05-15-2020, 12:30 AM   #7
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thanks guys, i appreciate the support... this post was kind of a way for me to let it out and get it off my chest a little bit...and i'm not much of a drinker, so that was more tongue in cheek. i talked to my wife a bit about it minus the gory details and told my 16 year old daughter to really be careful driving...but you said it DapperDan! It always was, always is and always will be in God's hands...thank you, i needed to hear that!!
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Old 05-15-2020, 01:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by coachk View Post
I was driving down highway on my way home and saw smoke next to a stopped train, so I pulled over and was gonna call the fire dept to let them know we just had a grass fire...looked in my rearview mirror and saw that it was a car that was on fire. I jumped out and headed towards the car with another guy that had stopped...his wife was on the phone with 911. We ran up towards the car that was already burning pretty good and noticed a body about 5 ft away from the car...i went to it and the other guy went to check the car to see if anyone else was inside. I got to him and he was laying on his side with his face down in the grass...I called to him to see if he was conscious but he wasn't moving, moaning, nothing...i rolled his head to the side to check him for a pulse but he was already gone...nobody else was in the car so we carried him away from the burning car and waited for everyone to arrive. I had a moving blanket in my pickup and used it to cover him up...60 year old man coming out of a private gate crossing the tracks heading to lunch. Messed me up pretty good today, not gonna lie... I'm gonna see his open eyes looking at me for the rest of my life. Don't know how you EMT/Fire/Police guys deal with those type of things day in and day out. I haven't had a beer in 4 years but may need a few to go to sleep tonight. Would appreciate some prayers for the man and his family
That is terrible. Don't resort to drinking, no sense in going back to that. Prayers to you. That must have been awful.
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:41 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by g2outfitter View Post
Through my LE career I have seen some horrific things. Some that are no big deal and others that bug you. My suggestion is stay away from alcohol as it will make it worse, Make sure you eat. second talk about it as much as you can with your loved ones, debriefing these situations are extremly important. After a few weeks and not getting better, go speak to a professional and ask about EMDR. Sorry this happened to you but remember, many would have driven right by so I thank you for not and stopping to help.

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Solid advice^^^
Everyone deals with it differently, but drinking won't solve what your feeling for very long. The first time isn't easy, and you'll always remember Every detail of the moment.... PM me if you need to talk. Prayers for you and the victim involved.
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Old 05-15-2020, 04:48 AM   #10
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Prayers up for victim anc his family. Prayers up for you also. Good for you for stopping to do what you could. God bless you.
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Old 05-15-2020, 05:32 AM   #11
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I have been on accident scene with dead bodies and a couple years ago a guy shot in the ditch and I kicked him thinking he was drunk. lol
Didn't really affect me other than it is unnatural for a body to not have life in it, death is a part of life and my relationship with Christ keeps me from thinking a certain way about death. Sorry you had to deal with that but good job moving the guy in case the fire got worse.
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:03 AM   #12
Tony Pic
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Prayers for the victim's family and you bud.
Bless you for helping.
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:19 AM   #13
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Prayers for you both.
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:29 AM   #14
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Not a first responder but have had similar situations. Funding someone to talk to is key. I have a close friend who is a FF and being able to talk with him has helped tremendously. I was reluctant at work but we have an EAP group that i was able to talk with as well as our Unions MAP (members assistance program). As in all things you were in that place at that time for a reason. My experiences have put me in situations were I had unique insight that helped others. I am sure his family will be comforted by the care and dignity you provided their loved one.
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:39 AM   #15
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It’s not hard to deal with when you see it all the time. I’m sure it’s hard For someone to see
Something like that once in a life time.
Prayers up for ya
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:52 AM   #16
BTLowry
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Seen my share of dead people, young ones stick with me the longest
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:05 AM   #17
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Fortunately, it gets a little easier after the first few. The first couple are really tough, after those, it won’t bother you so much anymore. I still remember the first few twenty years later. The rest are all blurred together unless you think about specific things on scene.
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:15 AM   #18
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Everyone , and I mean everyone will deal with it differently. And every time is different. The call, the situation, the victim will change how you react to it. I have had quite a few calls on shift. I can still remember most. Especially the first ones in my career. Sometimes the details are just imprinted in your mind. Keep moving and keep busy. Get in your shop and make some knives. Make a new one, challenge yourself with a new design that you have never tried. I won't tell you not to have a drink because I do and it helps me. I enjoy a whiskey while doing things in the shop but just one. I do not tie one on as that won't help. Process what you have gone through and then find someone to talk to about it. There are programs with professionals. There are friends and family.

We usually talk about it when we get back on the truck and I try to feel out how all my crew is doing. They know I am always there to talk or can point them in the direction of someone else if they would rather talk to someone else. And then I check up on them at a later time to see how they are doing.

PM me and we can talk anytime. Sometimes talking to a stranger is easier than someone you know. God bless and I will say a prayer for you going through this.
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:29 AM   #19
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Dangit.

Several years ago I was coming out of a lease pasture and had my life flash before my eyes as a train came blowing by just as I looked to see if one was coming! That will set you straight quick.

This crossing was back in the woods, and has no lights or crossing arms.

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Old 05-15-2020, 07:43 AM   #20
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Prayers up to you and the family involved... Prayers for the train crew that has to deal with the death as well. I know all to well what its like and the shoes you are in right now. I been the one running a train when cars don't stop at crossings its a bad deal for all involved. Its a memory that will stick with you for a long time. I remember mine like it was this morning time, date, mile post on the track, and kind of truck along with color. Its a day ill never forget.

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Old 05-15-2020, 08:22 AM   #21
coachk
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Originally Posted by Palmetto View Post
Dangit.

Several years ago I was coming out of a lease pasture and had my life flash before my eyes as a train came blowing by just as I looked to see if one was coming! That will set you straight quick.

This crossing was back in the woods, and has no lights or crossing arms.

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This was pretty well the same scenario...the guy was coming out of a private gate just on the other side of the track. It wasn't a true railroad crossing with all the signals and crossing arms, it was a private drive
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:37 AM   #22
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thanks guys, i appreciate the support... this post was kind of a way for me to let it out and get it off my chest a little bit...and i'm not much of a drinker, so that was more tongue in cheek. i talked to my wife a bit about it minus the gory details and told my 16 year old daughter to really be careful driving...but you said it DapperDan! It always was, always is and always will be in God's hands...thank you, i needed to hear that!!

Youíre welcome sir. And my ear is always open if you need to talk.


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Old 05-15-2020, 08:52 AM   #23
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When it's time to go nothing on this planet will keep you from going.
If God says you staying your staying.
Trust in what His Son did, paid our sin debt, for your eternity, salvation is by faith not of works. Trust this was that mans time.

There are way worse things than a quick death, this man may have been saved from horrible pain. It is hard to see.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:21 AM   #24
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I'm just learning about emdr and it could be an option.

Seeing people like that is all I do. Everyone deals with it differently. It doesn't seem to bother me anymore

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Old 05-15-2020, 09:26 AM   #25
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Seen my share of dead people, young ones stick with me the longest
Yep, still remember every one of the runs where young uns were lost.

Some great advice from folks, you can't keep this stuff hemmed up, gotta talk it off and get it processed. When it pops up, send off a lil prayer for that family. Take it as a bit of a blessing-good Lord put you and those other folks there that were ready to jump out and help without hesitation in case it wasn't that man's time. In a lot of cases you just have pinheads that just jump out to video.
Good on y'all for being there amigo.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:56 AM   #26
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Yep, still remember every one of the runs where young uns were lost.

Some great advice from folks, you can't keep this stuff hemmed up, gotta talk it off and get it processed. When it pops up, send off a lil prayer for that family. Take it as a bit of a blessing-good Lord put you and those other folks there that were ready to jump out and help without hesitation in case it wasn't that man's time. In a lot of cases you just have pinheads that just jump out to video.
Good on y'all for being there amigo.
the other guy that stopped with me was pulling a big trailer behind his truck...he drove by right after it happened and had to go up a mile or so to turnaround and we both got there at the same time so there was quite a few cars that just kept on going before we got there...once we got down to it and we got him moved out of there, there were a few bystanders and one guy trying to keep the highway traffic under control. I couldn't believe how many people were just driving by and filming it as we waited
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:00 AM   #27
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OUch………...I would also dread having to be the person in that boat. I have been first to at least 3 bad accidents but nobody died on the scene. It is rough enough just thinking someone might not make it. I hope you can get past it. YES, it is amazing and disappointing how many folks just drive on by.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:12 AM   #28
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Been on the scene of fatality accidents too many times and can still see the faces of those who didn't make it and even of those who did.

It doesn't haunt me but I do think about it now and then. You'll be fine...you did a good thing and that's what counts.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:23 AM   #29
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It's not easy and you never get used to it. After about 7 years as at a VFD doing fire rescue and EMS I had to give it up. It was the younger victims that got to me the most. They never had a life. Still think about some of the bad ones now and it's been 12 years.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:25 AM   #30
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Prayers... That's tough... And I don't mean just a little
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:27 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by hoythunter28 View Post
Been there more times than I care to as an LEO. But sir, go talk to someone and work through it. It will always been in the memory bank, but you can sure help yourself by getting that help now.
Yep--whether first responder, military, or your situation, PTSD is a possibility, and there is no "delete" button on your brain's memory bank. About the only thing is to keep on and "overload" it with good/better memories.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:27 AM   #32
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Talk to someone. My dad told me a long time ago about an accident he saw in europe that has stuck with him the rest of his life. Can't just forget it.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:02 AM   #33
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I've seen some bad stuff in my life, not near as much as others but more than enough. One is too many. Saw one where two people were dead on the side of the road. It did bother me. But as I've gotten older and had different experiences I've come to realize while seeing a dead person is sad,disturbing and you have a feeling of helplessness like you can't believe....there's nothing that you can do. Nothing you could have done differently. That person is gone. They don't feel pain or know anything anymore. They're like a rock,stick or any inanimate object. I'm not saying that to be heartless or anything but you have to understand that once a person is to that point they're not on this earth with us anymore. Be thankful that you didn't walk up on a person in pain and dying. We should all be so lucky as to go quickly and painlessly. You did all you could do in that situation.

Stay busy and keep your mind off of it. Don't sit in your house and dwell on it.
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:57 PM   #34
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I've seen some bad stuff in my life, not near as much as others but more than enough. One is too many. Saw one where two people were dead on the side of the road. It did bother me. But as I've gotten older and had different experiences I've come to realize while seeing a dead person is sad,disturbing and you have a feeling of helplessness like you can't believe....there's nothing that you can do. Nothing you could have done differently. That person is gone. They don't feel pain or know anything anymore. They're like a rock,stick or any inanimate object. I'm not saying that to be heartless or anything but you have to understand that once a person is to that point they're not on this earth with us anymore. Be thankful that you didn't walk up on a person in pain and dying. We should all be so lucky as to go quickly and painlessly. You did all you could do in that situation.

Stay busy and keep your mind off of it. Don't sit in your house and dwell on it.

This is a great response


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Old 05-15-2020, 08:46 PM   #35
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Alcohol could exacerbate your feelings as well and despite what condition of drunkenness you got to when you sobered up the memory will still be there. You can’t I remember things. You stopped and rendered aid. Most people woulda rubbernecked until they rear ended the vehicle in front of em.
I also agree with CBD on this as well. For years I believed People could end their life earlier than God intended by drinking, drugging, taking risk etc etc. Talked to a Friend of mine that is a retired as a Colonel inthe chaplaincy. He set me straight. God knew us in the womb. He sees your whole life from beginning to end. Beyond my pay grade to try and go any further as far as explaining.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:58 PM   #36
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I was driving down highway on my way home and saw smoke next to a stopped train, so I pulled over and was gonna call the fire dept to let them know we just had a grass fire...looked in my rearview mirror and saw that it was a car that was on fire. I jumped out and headed towards the car with another guy that had stopped...his wife was on the phone with 911. We ran up towards the car that was already burning pretty good and noticed a body about 5 ft away from the car...i went to it and the other guy went to check the car to see if anyone else was inside. I got to him and he was laying on his side with his face down in the grass...I called to him to see if he was conscious but he wasn't moving, moaning, nothing...i rolled his head to the side to check him for a pulse but he was already gone...nobody else was in the car so we carried him away from the burning car and waited for everyone to arrive. I had a moving blanket in my pickup and used it to cover him up...60 year old man coming out of a private gate crossing the tracks heading to lunch. Messed me up pretty good today, not gonna lie... I'm gonna see his open eyes looking at me for the rest of my life. Don't know how you EMT/Fire/Police guys deal with those type of things day in and day out. I haven't had a beer in 4 years but may need a few to go to sleep tonight. Would appreciate some prayers for the man and his family
30 years as an leo.
I specialized in fatality accident investigation while in the traffic division,,, i saw many from car wrecks,, also made one plane crash,,, lord only knows how many shooting and stabbings,,,,, i did the only thing i could do,,, leaned on God to keep my head straight,, if something came up especially at night i just started praying,,,
keep this in mind, You had nothing to do with what happened, but you did what you could when you were there. That's all anyone could have done and many would not have even done that,,,
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:59 PM   #37
Ryan C
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That’s a bad situation. Thanks for stopping to help. It’s amazing what some people do these days. Working traffic on a wreck scene is extremely dangerous. People won’t slow down or move over. Some don’t even see you until they nearly hit you.

We followed a drunk driver a few months ago. He had hit a guardrail and knocked the right front wheel off of his pick up. Like, spindle and everything gone. I walked up and made contact. Knew something wasn’t right with him. Went back to my pick up to call 911. He took off driving. Ended up driving 11 miles before cops got him stopped. Ended up being his 5th DWI. Found out later that he committed suicide before going to jail. That bothers me more than the bodies I’ve seen for some reason.

Anyway, like others said, find people to talk to.

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Old 05-15-2020, 09:09 PM   #38
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Its tough/different for sure, when you hear about bad accidents vs being first on scene.

I've been in that situation twice. One was near 30 years ago. A younger classmate struck by a train.

Then again this Tues am. A vehicle drove under a parked flat bed tractor trailer at high speed.

Nothing I could do for either.

Hope those are the only ones.

I catch myself driving with extra caution it seems since tuesday.

Glad you were there to do what you did, but dont wish that on anyone.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:20 PM   #39
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Man, just get it out. Talking about it will make it better. You won't quit smelling that smell for a few weeks. That much more of a reason to hug the wife and kids and remember that every breath is a gift. A feeling of severe helplessness is to be expected. It never gets any easier. You just get desensitized to it. If you need someone to shoot the bull with give me or anyone else a call. I have pm'd my number if you need it. Don't feel obligated but don't be bashful either. Remember that you had nothing to do with the accident. You were just trying to help. I will say a prayer for you.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:32 PM   #40
DFWPI
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I might be wrong, but since so I am seeing a lot of people talking about alcohol, I think he really didnít mean he was going to get drunk in hopes of it helping. In fact, I think he actually said it was more of a younger in cheek comment.

As far as him talking to somebody about it, I would suggest either a counselor or a preacher. You can talk to others all day long, but I would guess most people havenít dealt with this before and can tell you blah blah all day long.

I had to see the psychiatrist one after being involved in a police shooting. That conversation lasted about 15-minutes because I told him sometimes people just play stupid games and lose. He said yup and told me to come back to see him if I needed to do so. But, honestly in 30-years of policing, I saw a lot of death. Just got to believe you where there for whatever reason, pray about it and hope it never happens again.

Prayers to you Coach.


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Old 05-15-2020, 09:37 PM   #41
DFWPI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-5 View Post
Fortunately, it gets a little easier after the first few. The first couple are really tough, after those, it wonít bother you so much anymore. I still remember the first few twenty years later. The rest are all blurred together unless you think about specific things on scene.

Very true. Felt bad once, lady had came to station thinking her husband wanted to kill her. That afternoon I had to work crime scene, but it was a natural death and not a murder. She had some mental issues and her husband, whom had divorced her ten years before, was not in the State. ME investigator got on the scene and only remark was that there was a fresh red mark and scrape on her shin and he couldnít figure how she got it. I said looked like some dumb cop stepped on her while taking pictures. He looked at me, shook his head and told his guys to move her to the van.


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Last edited by DFWPI; 05-15-2020 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:48 PM   #42
glen
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I worked the Highway Night unit. DWI. Seen plenty. The thing that got real was the parents showing on scenes when cell phone tracking came about. That was bad. Whether it was your first or 100. It burns a spot in your brain. If you need to talk send me a PM. Thanks for stopping
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:01 PM   #43
mrc
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15 years ago or so I pulled a lady out of a burning car, I was the first one there. She didn't know what was happening and I can only imagine what would have happened have I not been there. It is tough now but it will pass.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:38 PM   #44
joel45acp
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I worked my first fatality while in my 1st week of FTO. I remember my Sarge saying something like, “it won’t be the last one” or something to that affect. He was right! I’ve lost count on how many I’ve come across in my career. The only ones that fazed me now are the kids. Those I won’t forget.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:49 PM   #45
BC288
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I always find talking about it helps the most. IMO normal humans arent supposed to see the messed up stuff some of us see too often. Talking about it is a natural way to let it out. Even so much as going into detail about what u felt, saw and smelled. It's like a cleansing. Thinking about it for days or even a few weeks is totally normal. If it goes over a couple months, u can always reach out for more help. But dont be afraid to reach out in the mean time! You were going to help support life of your fellow man, and that makes you a hero.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:00 AM   #46
Acameron52
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Talk about it!! Don’t keep that stuff inside. Find a good therapist, or even give me a call. I’ve been in that situation more times than I’d like to admit as a FF/Medic. We’re able to do this job because we can deal with it in a different way than most people, but we still talk about it. I’m strong in my beliefs and truly think God does everything for a reason. That’s the only way I can make it okay in my head.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:00 AM   #47
Acameron52
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Talk about it!! Donít keep that stuff inside. Find a good therapist, or even give me a call. Iíve been in that situation more times than Iíd like to admit as a FF/Medic. Weíre able to do this job because we can deal with it in a different way than most people, but we still talk about it. Iím strong in my beliefs and truly think God does everything for a reason. Thatís the only way I can make it okay in my head.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:04 AM   #48
kurt68
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As a funeral director picking up for the Galveston county ME, you wouldn’t believe the stuff I’ve seen and done. People die all kinds of ways that are bad. Kids are the worse.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:12 AM   #49
perow
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IT SUCKS--I had a horrible situation at my work many years ago that still haunts me and from time to time nightmares.

I managed a gold/silver shop in Dallas. I had a mother and her 17 yr old son working for us and one day they got into an argument about something. I needed to run stuff to the refinery and had only been gone about 15 when she calls me screaming so I hauled butt back and came in through the back door. Her son had taken one of the pistols sat down at her desk and pulled the trigger. we had a man cage at the front door where you had to be buzzed in while she was trying to get the door open for EMS I tried to do anything I could for her son but a glock .40 with hallow points to the temple there just wasn't anything I could do.

I can sometimes still smell it and picture it and it really screws with me. I always question if I had her run to the refinery if he wouldn't have done it.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:38 AM   #50
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I feel for you. I responded to an accident where a man was tearing down a 20X40 building and it fell on him. When I got there a deputy was trying to jack the building up high enough with a bumper jack to try and get him out. I started helping when a man showed up with a tractor and lifted the building up high enough for me to crawl under there and drag him out. I knew he was dead. EMTs showed up and started doing CPR and hauled him away. That was 30 years ago and I still think about it to this day.
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