I remember working the ED at another hospital when the call came in that the helicopter was being diverted to us, that we would be getting a peds trauma via helicopter. That time I heard it land outside, helped direct medics and call out instructions. "They're on the ground, everyone. ETA five minutes."
Same ED, helicopter brought in a man found down. I watched. I talked to the medics. It takes a lot to be a flight medic. It takes a lot to be a doctor.
Every time I hear a helicopter I look for it. Parkview's Samaritan is green and white, covers northern Indiana and bits of Michigan and Ohio. There's one in Fort Wayne and one in Rochester. Level II trauma center. Methodist's Lifeline is navy, covers the rest of Indiana. It comes to Wishard, too. Both Level I. The difference between Level I trauma and Level II trauma is whether people are in-house or just on-call. The sound of chopper blades means only one thing to me - someone is hurt. And when I'm not there on call, part of me is glad and part of me is curious and part of me wishes I were there.
Sometimes, O Best Beloved, I am still a passenger on this great ambulation of skills and talents called Medicine. Sometimes I am just a passer-by. And that, too, is a worthy thing to be.