It’s no secret that the people of Sweetwater County have time and again reached out to help those in need.
Whether it be truckers stranded in town needing food or supplies, or families devastated by natural events like the floods we experienced last summer, Sweetwater County has a knack for stepping up when the going gets tough.
Washington State resident Doug Dickinson recently experienced that kindness and good Samaritanism following an accident on Interstate 80.
Doug shares his story here, in his own words.
This past Wednesday was not one of my best, but I have to say I got to see the best in action in a community in Wyoming. I was driving home from Florida to Washington State having made a few stops to visit with family, kids, grandkids and some family genealogy when I encountered a guard rail at about 65 m.p.h., “ping-ponged” between the median barrier and the guard rail, and came to rest on the side of the road. I was belted and all bags deployed in the car –and that was the first step of saving my life that day. Thank you to the Honda engineers for designing a car that saved my life. I was even able to open the door to get out after the accident – 100% passenger compartment integrity! Wow!
The State Trooper
A state Trooper just happened to be at the tunnel exit and saw the accident, so needless to say, he was on-scene immediately. I lost consciousness briefly and was opening the door when the trooper was there to assist – mostly by telling me not to move. He reassured me that he had started EMS and they were nearby. He also reassured me that nobody else was hurt and something to the effect of “its just bent metal”. I asked for my computer bag to be with me and he handled the transfer to the ambulance of the critical laptop and paperwork. I was, of course, rattled and the assistance was very much appreciated. He reassured me several times and maintained a positive attitude.
EMS was on-scene in a few minutes and had me assessed and on the litter in a flash after stabilizing my neck and doing a complete survey. They had complete control of the situation and gave me the step-by-step through the entire process. They cared! I was transported to the local hospital ER quickly and professionally. They started a line (IV) and got some pain meds ordered. Fast, seamless, and orderly. The ambulance ride was a blur, but I felt sure that I was getting 100% of the best care possible.
Memorial Hospital Care
We arrived at the ER and I am moved into a room encircled by a team that’s ready to jump in and treat me. I felt like I was in a Level 1 trauma center, not some small hospital ER in very rural America. The ER Doc got report from EMS, ordered an MRI, X-rays, EKG, blood draw for labs, pain meds (lots of general body pain from the air bags deploying), and all that was completed in nearly zero time.
Once the tests were all done and reviewed I was briefed on my injuries and treatment begun. This was all in less than an hour. This was also a blur as this team went into action.
The Holiday Inn
I was ready for discharge from the ER, but no place to go and I couldn’t even move let alone take care of myself. The nurse made arrangements to keep me in the ER until my wife arrived – again for my safety and well being. This nurse was looking beyond the immediate need to make sure I was safe and cared for until I could be transitioned to family for care.
Next stop was the Holiday Inn where the clerk was able to get us a suitable room on the ground floor because of mobility needs. A good night’s rest and we were ready to start the trek home (12+ hours).
So, the litany of my misfortune in being in an accident and the good fortune of being able to be cared for by the Rock Springs/Sweetwater County community. I saw a team moving smoothly and seamlessly caring for me from the moment of the accident until I was on my way home. I saw compassion for an injured stranger in town, a genuine concern for my safety and well-being.
This impressive small community was able to render emergency care at levels beyond my expectations at incredible speed and efficiency – a great team. Even the towing company was nice to deal with and helpful in getting my wife access to the remains of the car to recover tools, luggage, etc. I am suitably impressed with what I found in Rock Springs, WY!
I don’t remember all the names – and there were many – of these fine people. What I saw and experienced was exactly what I aspired to be and to do when I was active in EMS for nearly 30 years. I know that what I saw and experienced was exemplary and speaks volumes to the quality of care and the attitude of service I saw everywhere in Rock Springs. I can’t thank all of you enough.
I’ll attach a picture of the car. As you can see, this could have had a really bad outcome.
Thanks to the efforts of many people involved, Mr. Dickinson is now home safe and sound with his family in Washington. Nothing like kicking off your week with a feel-good story about the heart and soul of Sweetwater County.