That sixth sense...
Any other non-civilians here ever get kept up late at night with the sense that something's not right in the world? It's 0500 here, and it made me wonder if us military/police/fire/etc. are the only ones that have this "sixth sense". I've shown up at the firehouse randomly with other people, only to have a major incident go out... I once decided to drive to my volunteer firehouse sometime far later than usual, for no reason I could figure out other than I felt a "pull" to go there. 3 minutes out "Officer down, shots fired" goes out over our primary dispatch frequency. I made it there in a bit under a minute (and I nearly wrecked doing it... just in case any of you thought I was proud of doing that, I'm not, but when it's a brother's life on the line, you do what you gotta do) and found the parking lot full. Apparently I wasn't the only one who got that feeling. Despite the fact that it should have been a night with minimal staffing, we were able to dump house fully staffed (engine, tower, two ambulances, two tankers, one brush truck, two utilities, two chiefs) within probably 5 minutes of the call going out (we were looking for the officer... at the time of dispatch his location was unknown). Any of you wait up late or head to your station just waiting for something to hit?
On a side note, among us fire guys, we were (barely) justified in our response. We're supposed to stage when a shooters on the loose (for obvious reasons... in this case it would have meant staying in quarters), but our Chief (correctly) assumed that it was safe for us to mount a search as a) the perp had already fled, and b) there were plenty of police around to call the scene relatively "secure". We didn't find the officer... he had somehow managed to drag himself back into his car (after being dragged by the perp at least 50 yards and dislocating/breaking his arm in the process), and pursue him in his cruiser. He got a helicopter ride downtown due to mechanism and per policy, but he was (relatively speaking) alright (thankfully). That moment still makes me damn proud.
On a related note, one of our members was critically injured on an incident two years back. 3 of our members, all in different vehicles, happened to be POV within a quarter mile of the incident. The second-due engine company happened to be on the air within a minute or two from the scene (the incident was on the dividing line of our first due). Due to members hanging around, we happened to get some of the pieces out the door with over-staffing (our first-in ambulance rolled out the door with 4 people on it). We set a state record for time to dispatch to medivac in the air. We had a priority 1 patient in the air a hair over twenty minutes from dispatch to liftoff (including response time). One of our members happened to be the flight medic on the chopper, and they happened to have a CCRN aboard as a ride along. The chopper should have been grounded, I think (it was drizzling/raining off and on for probably half an hour at least), but due to the nature of the call they got off the ground. Have no idea how they made it to the scene as quickly as they did. It seems like we'd barely started treatment when Trooper 8 was asking for a landing zone. I am in awe of how well that incident turned out, all things considered. The docs said if any of those things had gone wrong, he probably would have died (as it is, he "only" lost a leg). To be honest, I hadn't thought he was going to make it... blood was streaming from the helicopter as it took off... thank God for our excellent aero-medical aviation division.
If you're a civilian, chime in too, by all means.