Alligators in Indiana
It was a dark and stormy night. Ok, it was dark and raining lightly. My partner and I, working for a county ambulance service, were sent approximately 20 miles to a home very much in the country. Upon arrival at the home, we found that the patient had already taken transport to the hospital with a family member. So, we headed back to station.
My partner was a female approx 40 years old. She was originally from Minnesota, but had lived and worked in Indiana with me for about 5 years. Certainly long enough for her to know that alligators were not indigenous to the area.
While enroute back to station, we were traveling down a pretty long gravel road. We were both very tired, and the rain was not helping visibility much. I was sort of half sleeping in the passenger seat on our way back, when all the sudden, my partner locks up the breaks. I immediately woke and started to panic, thinking we were in the midst of a MVA ourselves. Just as the tires came to a stop, my partner gasped and with her last bit of air says “Alligator”. I had to just take a second and process what she had just said. So, I told her to back up.
As we pulled backwards, we found the alligator sitting half in and out of the road, soaking up all of the water from the night’s rain. It was a LOG!! I looked at my partner with a sort of condescending look and immediately started to laugh hysterically. Of course she was embarrassed, and starts to try and defend herself. Well…Let’s just say that trying to defend herself was doing no good at all. My evil side and I took over, and my partner was now in for a lifetime of alligator stories.
During our trip back, we encountered many more animals that did not belong in Indiana. I pointed out the herd of black and white hippos grazing in the fields, and I also pointed out all of the giraffes we passed, and how in Indiana we put saddles on them. I also made a few phone calls, and by the time we arrived back on station, my partner now owned a whole collection of alligator stuffed animals, wallets, and whatever else our crews could find lying around their homes.
Later that year, my partner even received an award from our director at the annual banquet. It was a very nice pet alligator on a leash. Actually, it was a tree branch the director found outside, but it did have a leash. It has now been over 10 years since this event, but even today, stories of our little safari circulate around the station.
In a business as stressful as EMS, Fire, or Criminal Justice services, it helps to make light of some situations. The family type bonds that form between co-workers. Along with these bonds come all of the interactions that most close families share. Me and that partner are still close friends to this day, and situations like these only serve to strengthen the lifelong bonds that all of us in public service share.
Thanks to Jenny for the memory, and I wish many great memories to today’s servants in public safety.