As a kid, I pondered how if I were ever involved in a vehicular collision, I hoped it would be with an ambulance. My imaginative mind rationalized this would a best-case scenario amid a worst-case scenario. Medics would immediately be present and on the scene.

A few years later, it happened. I was traveling through a wintry downtown Abilene; sleet was falling. Shortly before my Mercury Tracer entered the then-blind intersection, I heard sirens. And there it was: an ambulance barreling towards me, en route somewhere else. In a split second I knew we would collide. Should I brake or gun it? I hit the gas, but it wasn't enough. The emergency vehicle slammed into my driver's side door.

Of course, having a run-in with an ambulance like this is an anomaly (one would hope). Accidents usually happen without trained medics anywhere nearby. If you find yourself in the midst of a medical emergency without any first responders around...

Call 911

If someone is experiencing life-threatening symptoms or there is any question about the severity of the situation, call emergency services. Follow instructions while waiting for help to arrive.

Remain Calm

This can be a challenge in a moment of crisis, but do your best to avoid panic, which can exacerbate an already tense moment.

Provide First Aid

If you are certified in first aid care and it is safe to assist, perform if needed.

Consider Urgent Care Facilities

If circumstances are urgent but not life-threatening, consider driving the injured/ill person to an urgent care clinic or emergency room.

Provide Reassurance

If possible, remain with and comfort the injured/ill person until medical professionals are able to assist.

When my t-boned Tracer came to a rest, the driver's window was gone and the side mirror dangled. Within moments, the medic was at the door, asking if I could move my fingers and toes. We discussed whether I should take a ride back to the hospital, but I somehow had avoided injury. Though I have no desire to see the grille of an ambulance that closely ever again, I was certainly grateful for the first responders' immediate presence.

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