As a cop, what’s the best excuse given from someone speeding that turned out to be true?

Mudassir Ali
Jan 24, 2020 01:40 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Jan 24, 2020 01:40 PM

I was never pulled over for this, but I was given indirect permission by a cop and an emergency service call centre to speed.

I was at my paid job when I received a phone call from my 16 year old son. He and some friends were walking around our town, not far from the police station, and the local cop (single officer station with a house for the officer & family attached) drove past them & waved. They watched him pull up at the station and get something out of his vehicle, then walk into his front yard. Approx 5 seconds later, he leaned back over the fence and screamed out my son’s name. My son and his friends immediately broke into a run straight to the station, as they realised that whatever happened was urgent, given how the cop had screamed.

They were confronted by gushing blood and smashed glass. The cop had been getting a mirror out of his car, and had tripped as he entered his yard, smashing the mirror and slashing his wrist on the broken glass. The group of teens my son was with (and my son himself) were all first aid trained, and they and the cop realised that the glass had punctured an artery, which was possibly life-threatening. Working quickly (along with the cop’s wife who came out the house with their two young children when she heard her husband scream), they applied a towel with pressure to stem the bleeding. The girls in the group immediately shepherded the cop’s kids inside to distract them, one of the boys held the pressure on, and another boy helped the wife clean up the blood and broken glass.

The cop asked my son to ring me while the last boy rang for emergency services. At the time, I was a volunteer ambulance officer, and although I was off-duty, I often got calls from our townspeople when emergency aid was needed.

When I answered my son’s call, he gave me a very brief run down of the situation, telling me that clearly the cop needed attention as soon as he could get it. In the meantime, the other boy had been told that the nearest ambulance was just over an hour away (we live in rural South Australia, and its not uncommon for emergency services to be so spread out). I said that I would leave work and get there within 30–40 minutes, driving to the speed limit. He relayed that info to the cop, who yelled out “tell her to f**king speed if she needs to, just get here NOW!!”

I jumped in my car and took off, ringing the line to the communications centre. Once I identified myself & the job I was going to, the call-taker informed me that the nearest crew was well and truly over an hour away, and that I needed to do everything I could to get there as fast as possible and render what help I could. I hesitated, and then said that given the speed limits it was going to take me at least half an hour. He replied “you know your protocol – drive to the conditions” and rang off.

Our protocol was not about whether or not we could legally speed when driving the ambulance under lights & sirens, but that we drove safely in the conditions presented – eg, clear atmosphere, no other traffic and a life-threatening emergency means go as fast as you safely can, which is exactly what I did.

My poor little Toyota Camry had never been over the speed limit before, but she certainly broke all sorts of limits that day. I never endangered any other road users – in fact I never saw another vehicle until I entered the town limits, which is when I slowed to the posted speed.

I arrived to find a rapidly declining patient who was suffering shock in a big way. I kept him conscious and made sure his vital signs stayed up, until well over 45 minutes after my arrival, a paramedic crew finally got there to take over & transport him to hospital.

He did survive, but it took a couple surgeries, a few blood transfusions, and many months of recuperation. He never regained full use of the hand that was cut, too much tendon damage even after microsurgery.

My son and his friends got a commendation from the school for their actions, and I was asked a couple weeks later by the cop himself “so – how fast DID you go??” with a rueful laugh. I told him how long it had taken and where I was when I got the call, and let him do the maths in regard to my speed. He paled a little, laughed, and said “I had no idea your Camry was capable of that!! Thanks for helping save my life” and pretty much left it there.

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