The Bluffton Fire Dept and Rescue held their annual Turkey Bingo Fundraiser last Friday evening at the Bluffton Community Center. A large crowd attended as did my wife Jeanne and I, along with several other members of our family.
Over the years we've seen fire trucks and members of the department and rescue team here and there, hearing about fire calls they were on, we even see them in a parade now and again. The Bluffton Department has even been to my place for a ground fire and one false alarm. I tend to kind of take them for granted, knowing that if we need them, they will come.
Friday night after the bingo as my wife and I were traveling home with three of our youngest grandchildren we came upon the scene of a terrible accident involving a young lady and her auto. She had lost control, left the gravel road, and rolled over in the meadow next to the road. The car had come to rest back on its wheels, the headlights were on, so I wasn't prepared for what I found. The young lady was on the ground next to the car, severely injured. I called 911 and gave driving directions, then checked her pulse and breathing. I covered her with my coat and outershirt, then comforted her. Sirens sounded within minutes of my call as the rescue squad and firemen left Bluffton, four miles away. In just a few minutes more, well-trained people were on the scene administering aid in many ways. Ambulance, sheriff, Highway Patrol and others all arrived within a short time, but rescue and fire men from Bluffton were doing their work without error for as long as it was necessary.
I have never been involved in a life-threatening situation until that night. I know that I was meant to be there, and am glad to have a group of people that are neighbors and friends to me available in a time like that. We all need to be proud of their service to dedication to our community. Amazement is the only way to explain my observance of the scene. Sorrow is my feeling of the outcome, for the young lady's injuries were so severe that she did not survive. My deepest sympathy goes out to her family and friends, neighbors and employer.
The fact remains that in a small town like Bluffton we can still be sure of the care and service we need in times of accidents or emergency. I applaud the young people of our community for their dedication, volunteering for a tough job and rendering a great service to our neighborhood. Keep up the good work.