The Paramedic’s Inventory

by Sarah Stock

One stretcher
One teenage boy
One estimated BAC of .18 g/dL

Two cars
One silver Toyota with a crumpled front end
One red SUV with a soccer ball sticker that took a hard hit on the left side of the backseat

Three good Samaritans
Two men standing braced against the comfort of their untouched 4×4
One woman clutching her phone like rosary beads blessed by the dispatcher on the other side

Four traffic cones
Four corners standing between traffic and tragedy

Five police officers
Two in fluorescent vests standing on opposite poles, pointing civilians towards the nearest detour
Three sitting in their squad car, sipping coffee and preparing themselves for paperwork

Four rubbernecks
Two parents in a red SUV, thanking God that their vehicle looks like the “before”
Two children staring at the flashing lights and thinking of Christmas trees in late May

Three wounded
One young boy in a state-funded helicopter destined for buckets of ice
Two parents just conscious enough to regret signing the donation form

Two hands
Covered in blood and aching from chest compressions

One black sheet
Five delicate fingers peeking out from the side, painted a bright shade of pink

Sarah Stock is a student at Carroll University in Wisconsin.