I spent the better part of the 80’s with a volunteer ambulance. The great thing about volunteer organizations is that they can’t be too picky. I would eventually have a paramedic license, but mostly drove, which probably indicates my skill at the former.
We were the third unit on-scene. The girl had been taken from the scene as a code. She never really had a chance, and was probably worked because of her young age. She would die. The husband was on a backboard, being extricated and worked as a code. He would die. The wife was already dead, having been ejected through the passenger-side windshield. She was hanging from a shard of glass by her bra-strap, with a detached foot still in the vehicle (consider the design of a VW Bus, for a moment. Not where you want to be in an accident). We transported her, and later had to return for the foot. It was a long night, with a wee bit of inappropriate humor.
The 18-year-old was a model, working at the Holiday Inn Oceanfront. Drinking age was 21: she had a fake ID. Months after the call, we heard that her parents were suing the hotel for serving her alcohol. 1984 was a long time ago, and it was shocking to think that an establishment could be held liable when a customer willfully breaks the law (this was probably before the first bartender was ever sued for over-serving). I don’t recall what came of that case, and the hotel may have settled out-of-court. It was the start of something bigger, though. In eight years with that ambulance, I was subpoenaed once. Never went to court. Doubt that would be the case today.
Since then, we’re even more conflicted about when adulthood begins. An 18-year-old can sign a contract, join the military, even get married…but might not be responsible for fake-ID-ing herself into a DUI.
Thirty years later and they don’t even have to buy their own health-insurance! Mom and (perhaps) Dad won’t mind paying a higher rate for the next eight years, right?
You mean that isn‘t free?
2034, imagine what awaits.