“Come on. Let’s go.”
“What’s the rush? Let me check this first.”
“I’ll hold your hand if you want me to.”
“That’s not necessary.” Tim had taken all of ribbing he could handle from Art. “Just give me some space, man!”
“Well. there’s about 500 feet of it right there. Unless you’re afraid to look.”
“OK. Now, big shot!” Tim leaped from his position above the gap. His bungee unwrapped and pulled nearly taut. Art stared at Tim’s twisted body below.
“Tim!” Art grabbed his cell from his pack and punched 911. The dispatcher answered. Art yelled into the mouth piece, “Get somebody out here quick. He jumped and now he’s really hurt. Hurry. Hurry, please.”
“Sir, where are you? Give me directions. Turn on your GPS if you have it. Do not, I repeat, do not disconnect your phone.”
Tim followed her instructions. “Help is on the way. Is your friend moving? Can you get to him from where you are?”
“I can’t see him moving. His leg is under his chest. There’s blood beside him. He’s not moving. Oh, God, he might be dead. He’s not moving!”
“Sir, can you hear the ambulance now?”
“Yes, I can hear them.”
“Very good. Try to stay calm. They’ll take over now. You may disconnect your phone.”
The EMTs arrived and quickly surveyed the situation. “We’re going to need an air unit to get him out of here.” One of them radioed for the unit while the others scrambled down the embankment into the ravine. “Come on, you. You can help hold stuff while we work. Now!”
Tim froze. “It’s my fault. We needed to check the equipment first… ” his voice faltered. “…but he got mad and jumped. It’s my fault.”
“Dosen’t matter right now. Move it.”
Art began the descent into the ravine behind the EMTs. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” rolled like thunder through his thoughts. Then he saw Tim.
“Is he alive?”
“Yes, but really hurt. Hold this bag in the air like this. Don’t squeeze it though.” Tim grabbed the bag of fluid that was now flowing into Tim’s body. Tim hadn’t flinch when they pushed the needle into his arm. He didn’t moan when they put the neck brace on him.
“What’s all wrong with him? Can you tell? Is he going to make it? ”
His questions got no answers as the team continued to work “Here. Hold this bag, too. That air unit better get here pretty soon.” one of them said.
The third member of the team joined them bringing another box of supplies with him. “The chopper’s ETA is 10 minutes. Do we have it?”
“I think so. Looks like lots of internal stuff, head and leg injuries. BP is stabilizing a little now. Need to get him up the hill pretty quick for the chopper. He ain’t going to like that much.”
They strapped him onto the sled. “You can put those bags right here. Grab this corner like this. We call the moves; you just do what we say.”
“Yeah, anything. Just tell me when.”
A few minutes later they crested the ravine. Art watched Tim’s face hoping for some sign that his friend was coming around. He saw nothing. “Is he still alive?”
“Yes, but unconscious. Probably better for your friend since the pain would’ve been bad coming up the hill.”
Art heard the whop, whop, whop of the rotor blades before he saw the craft. “They’re here.” He realized they probably heard too.
“Stay clear.” they told him. “We’ll load him.”
“Where are they taking him? City Hospital?”
“Probably, we’ll ask for you, but stay clear of the blades or you’ll be on the next flight.”
Art watched the chopper lift off. Tears welled up as he watched his best friend fly out his life. Maybe forever.
“Where’re they going?”
“City.” They answered as they repacked the ambulance. “Take them about 20 minutes. If you’re going, don’t try to beat them. You won’t get in to see him right away anyway. We need some information for our reports. Never mind. Here’s the police we’ll just listen while you give them the info. It’ll be about the same stuff.”
“What happened here?” the police officer asked. Art began at the beginning wishing all the while he could replay the last 30 minutes.
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