Finally put my first aid certification to the test on Saturday when, while skiing at Mont Blanc, came across a girl, about 11 years old, sitting in the middle of the hill, and what looked like a garage sale spread out downhill from her. A hat, mittens, goggles, splayed everywhere. I came to a stop, to pick up the hat, thinking that it was hers, but which in fact belonged to some other ‘boarder hopping his way back up the hill. The girl is crying, I’m trying to figure out what’s going on. It turned out that she was simply sitting on the hill (why do knucke-draggers do that?), in a blind corner, when this guy came zooming around the corner, saw her at the last second and tried to jump over her, only to (not) miss and struck her squarely in the top of the back. Le sigh.
So, start trying to calm her down, do my ABCs (airway, breathing, circulation). She thinks she’s bleeding from her back, so I’m faced with a dilemma: I need to verify her back, but she’s a girl. I could theorectically get into trouble for peeling up her shirt, but screw it, she might in fact be bleeding. Luckily, no blood. After a while, the ski patrol comes along, take charge and send me on my way. They’re about to strap her to a stretcher and, as I’m putting my skis back on, she says, “merci, monsieur.” In the same way she would speak to an adult. An older adult. Again, le sigh.
I have to remember, even though I know I’m hitting the big mumble-mumble-0 this week, that kids do see me as one of those ‘big’ people.