Whose lives matter? How about: Confuse the blind guy
Our walk this morning brought us to a very recent automobile accident. Air bags had been deployed. It wasn’t clear if medical assistance would be needed. I stood out of the way while Helen assessed the situation. Another person on the scene called the police. It wasn’t long before the sound of an approaching emergency vehicle could be heard. The fact that Helen knows where to be and what to say in these situations is a part of what makes her a wonderful hospital Chaplain.
Under the circumstances I had no expectation of having a real-time understanding of what was going on. I found it hard to know just how many people were on the scene and what their roles were. I knew Helen had done an initial well-being check on the individual who appeared most likely to have significant injuries. I knew there was another person asking if an ambulance should be called. I knew additional emergency services were called. What I didn’t know was who was taking charge of the scene.
As it turned out, there were three police officers on the scene. It was the first officer who was doing an assessment to see if an ambulance was needed. I never heard the voices of the other two (male) officers. I don’t know who called for additional emergency services. I also learned, later, that a speeding car had struck another car. It seemed likely that laws had been violated. In my confusion I found myself wondering just how important it was to understand the command and control structure. While I had little information about the details of the situation I clearly understood that the safety and well-being of all of the participants was priority one.
This has been a year full of slogans: Black Lives Matter (BLM), All lives matter, Blue lives matter, Sieg Heil, etc. These slogans conjure up the ideas that “All you have to do is…” and “I’m right, you’re wrong.” It may be more productive to adopt the slogan “Confuse the blind guy.”