“One and two and three and four and… As Bill compressed Sam’s chest he tried to remember the changes, was it 10 compressions to 2 breaths or was it thirty and then 2 and change? There was something about 30 but…and 10! Give two breaths, Leah.” Leah was already exhaling into Sam’s lungs by the time he got the words out. Water gushed from Sam’s lungs and mouth with each compression and Bill prayed that it would work.
“Come on Sam, come on”, Leah chanted and suddenly Sam coughed. A weak, gurgled cough and Bill turned him onto his left side, more water gushed from Sam’s mouth and he gasped then puked. Bill felt for a pulse and found his prize; weak and thready, but definitely there.
Leah collapsed with relief, sobbing and laughing. “Did someone call an ambulance?”
“I did, they should be here soon!” A young and very wide eyed boy reassured Leah.
In the distance she could hear a siren. She wondered how close they were and whether the gorge made it sound closer than it really was.
Sam was breathing on his own and the water had stopped coming from his mouth. Bill thanked God and he began to relax. He could hear the sirens in the distance. “IS SOMEONE UP AT THE ROAD TO MEET THEM”, he shouted. It was more a statement than a question and he saw a couple of people scrambling up the thirty foot embankment, toward the road above.
He was still a rookie cop but he had learned quickly to cover all the bases. “SEND A COUPLE OF PEOPLE PAST THE CURVES TO SLOW TRAFFIC!” It was going to take more than a few minutes to get Sam out of the gorge and Bill didn’t want another accident to worry about. “Hey! Brian, get the flares and cones out of my trunk and make sure they get placed before the curves to warn drivers, okay? The doors are unlocked!”
Brian was already scrambling up the embankment and gave a thumb-up in acknowledgement. It was a steep climb and the dead tree he used to pull himself up with broke sending him sliding down, flat on his belly, for about five feet. Undaunted, Brian got up and began climbing again.