IT must be a rare thing for emergency service workers to arrive at what looks to be a fatal collision and end up shaking hands with the person who survived thanks to their efforts.
This scenario was played out in a ward in Orange hospital yesterday when most of the key players in the battle to keep James Cantrill alive met up again at his bedside.
It was his mother Christine Cantrill’s idea to thank the people who together kept James alive until he could be transported to Sydney for life-saving surgery.
The group which converged on the crash scene at the corner of Lake Canobolas and Cargo roads early on the morning of August 1 included paramedics, firefighters, police and a passing nurse.
Sadly for them the situation was probably not an unusual one. What made it memorable in the end was the life saved as a result of their efforts.
Too often police, paramedics, fire and rescue officers and medical staff work unsuccessfully to save the life of a road accident victim. Too often they must be haunted by the images etched into their minds after a day at a serious crash site.
Yesterday’s reunion with the Cantrill family must have been an uplifting one for the personnel involved. From the first emergency workers on the scene to the doctors at the hospital who stabilised Mr Cantrill and prepared him for transport to Westmead he received the very best of care.
His ordeal and now the family’s gratitude have been played very publicly, in the process reminding every motorist how the lives of loved ones can be taken or changed forever in a split second.