This past week I was in a car accident in Trevor, on Route 83. I was not hurt and there was no damage to my car. As soon as I got my wits about me I called in to the Sheriff’s department to report the accident.

      About 2 minutes after I called a sheriff’s deputy arrived on the scene and he went about his work diligently. I advised him that there was a lady in one of the cars and she said she was in pain.

      About one minute later, Tom Seep, the Trevor Battalion Chief, arrived. Usually when I see Tom he says hello and we talk for a bit and we go on our way. But not this time. Tom got out of his truck, quickly assessed the situation, and headed right for the car the deputy pointed out to him with the injured woman. He was all business. No “Hello’s” exchanged. It was as if I wasn’t there. He went right to his job. He worked with the lady, comforting her and making his assessments. When the ambulance arrived he oversaw the paramedics as they made sure she was stable and was off in the ambulance.

      While I was giving my information to the deputy, other Fire Department/EMT vehicles arrived. Chief Slover came as well, I don’t remember the order of arrival. Every vehicle knew where to go. A fire truck blocked a lane of traffic so the debris could be cleaned up. The ambulance went right near the car of the injured lady.

      Chief Slover came up to me and said hello and he asked how I was feeling and told me not to leave until I talked to him again. Normally Mike and I might do the same in passing on the street and spend a couple of minutes talking to each other. But not this time.

      This time it was different. As he left me to talk to the other gentleman in the accident, I realized that in that short exchange he made a quick assessment as to my injuries, if any, and then he was off to check the other gentleman.

      Chief Slover got one of the EMTs and she checked me out and then went on to the other gentleman. I went with the EMT to see if Chief Slover needed anything else from me and he said I was free to go. Then he turned to the EMT and gave her an assessment of the other gentleman.

      You see, while Chief Slover was talking to him he was also assessing him and he gave a full detailed report to the EMT.

      At this point something occurred to me. I stopped, I stepped back and I looked around. There was almost no talking. As a matter of fact the only ones talking were the victims answering questions from the fire/EMT people. There was no standing around. Two firemen were sweeping debris off the street. Two firemen were working to disable the other gentleman’s horn.

      The ambulance was leaving with the lady who was hurt. The deputy was directing traffic. Every person there knew his or her job and were doing it. No idle hands to be seen. No idle conversation. Chief Slover and Chief Seep were in charge and quietly directing their men and women. It was like looking at a watch. All the gears and springs were working, there was no wasted movement. Just quiet efficiency.

      This what I call professionalism.

      Thank you, Salem/Trevor/Wilmot Fire Departments. I’m impressed.

Jim Valentine





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