The ambulance headed down pit straight, no lights, no siren but making a beeline directly for the gate next to the pit exit, a gate which would take them out past pit garages, past the team transporters, through the officials car park and eventually out of the arena and onto the road. While the ambulance was still inside the arena lights and sirens were not needed, everyone in the place knew exactly what was going on and gave the vehicle clear space.
At the same time as the ambulance tracked down the pit straight the crew inside worked on Danny. Because he was in an unconscious state their first job was to make sure he remained stabilised which meant they needed access to his chest so they could connect the heart monitors, that meant removing his racing suit and whatever was under it.
As the chest of the suit was cut away by the female ambulance officer, whose name was Heather, Danny’s helmet was removed by the male officer, whose name was Justin. Each job was done carefully in the moving ambulance so as not to cause more problems. While they were fairly certain that Danny’s major issue, other than being unconscious, was his leg injury, they knew there was little they could do about that in the ambulance other than slow the bleeding.
While the two crew members worked on Danny Tracey sat in the dickie seat immediately behind the driver’s seat. She knew better than to try and get to Danny’s side, apart from the fact he was still out cold and wouldn’t know she was there the ambulance crew couldn’t afford her to be there. She also knew better than to act hysterical and scream, she was of course upset and tears ran from each of her eyes but screaming, yelling and crying loudly would not help that situation.
The lights and sirens of the ambulance came on at the same time as the vehicle pulled out onto the road and accelerated hard. Had Danny been awake he might have jokingly compared the acceleration of the ambulance to that of his race car. It wasn’t the same, far from it, but it was still enough to require Tracy to hang on tight so as not to get thrown from her seat.
Tracey began to shake in her seat when the first blood bag was retrieved and connected to the drip. It wasn’t a violent shake, maybe just a violent shiver, but combined with the blood draining from her face it was obviously enough for the female ambulance officer to notice.
“Are you OK miss?” Heather said from across the ambulance.
Through tears and a shaky voice Tracey told Heather that she was ok and that she wasn’t going to fall off the seat and onto the floor. “The last thing you need in here is me falling off my seat and requiring help.” she added.
“Don’t worry miss we wont be worried with you falling off the seat. Your husband is our priority.” Heather responded. It was dry wit that could so easily have been taken offensively by other people but for Tracey it was just what she needed to snap herself out of her own mind. Heather must have at that moment also realised the reason for Tracey sudden change. “The blood’s not a critical thing, He’s loosing blood from the leg wound and we can’t stem it. We also can’t remove what’s in there. The blood will get him to hospital.”
“Is he still unconscious?” Tracey asked as she regained some of her composure.
Justin was still working on Danny’s leg when Heather replied. “Yes, but the IV will have him sedated. He’s unconscious but controlled.”
The one time Tracey remembered being in an ambulance under similar circumstances things had been a lot different. It had been back in Danny’s fifth year of racing, whist still in one of the support series, after he was involved in a ten car pile up and he was taken to hospital as a precaution. Not only had ambulances changed, there was more room inside them and they were better equipped, the ambulance crew were nicer, more human and understood how to talk to upset people.
It only took a second or two for Heather’s words to register in Tracey’s mind,Danny was not in a critical position, the blood was not to save his life, and they were doing everything they could to keep him as comfortable as they could until they arrived at the hospital where the leg wound would be operated on.
The ride in the ambulance was both short in distance and fast in time and through weekend traffic they made the hospital in less than ten minutes. When they arrived at the Emergency department the rear doors of the ambulance were opened and Danny’s gurney was wheeled out of the vehicle by two hospital staff who were prepped and ready for the arrival.
Both Justin and Heather climbed out of the ambulance and followed the gurney, talking to the hospital staff as they went. By the time Tracey was climbing out the back doors the ambulance officer whose name she didn’t get was taking her by the hand and leading in through the Emergency department doors.
Once inside the hospital Tracey heard all sorts of voices. Voices calling out medical terms, voices talking about Danny’s vital stats and calls of direction for which operating theatre they were taking Danny to. Very little of what Tracey actually heard registered in her mind and before she knew what was happening Danny, his gurney and his entourage of doctors and nurses, had disappeared behind two swinging doors and Tracey was being ushered towards the head nurses desk and the Triage desk.
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