When duty calls
us are looking forward to a break after a long and busy year, there are many people who are gearing up to deal with the fallout of parties, celebrations, and holiday carelessness.
Think of the ambulance people whose job it is to go out to yet another terrible accident on the N1 hell-run, the people who had to pick up the torn and broken bodies of four members of a Philippi family who were killed between Laingsburg and Beaufort West early yesterday.
Think of the hundreds of police and traffic po- lice who man roadblocks on the province’s roads at night, often in cold, gale-force winds, in a bid to take the drunk, the reckless and the incapable off the
Think of the doctors and nurses who work long hours at this time to try to put people back together, to provide emergency surgery for terrible head wounds, the medical personnel who try to save the lives of small children who have smashed into windscreens and gearsticks because their parents did not clip them into car seats.
Think of the NSRI volunteers who are prepared to risk their lives in howling gales and heaving seas to rescue recreational fishermen and boatmen who have been caught short, often as a result of their own carelessness. Think of the mountain search and rescue people who are on standby to go up the mountain, often in the dark, to find hikers who have fallen or lost their way.
Think of the firemen who have to face a blazing mountain after someone has casually tossed a
burning stompie out of a car window, of the heli- copter pilots who fly into clouds of smoke to douse fires, the lifesavers who swim out into wild waves to rescue a swimmer in difficulty.
Genuine, unforeseen accidents do happen, but much of the mayhem at this time of year is due to our own carelessness. Let’s give our emergency services a great Christmas present and do all we can to keep ourselves and those around us safe these holidays.