What is it about “following the rules” that makes some people’s brains seem to travel at light speed from 0 to stupid? The following true story should outrage you and is the absolute perfect example of when to downshift into ‘common sense’ gear.
San Jose, CA – High school football player Keanu Gallardo got a serious head injury during a routine Saturday football game. The injury was so serious that the paramedics were called, and an ambulance arrived on the scene. But before the ambulance could drive onto the field to attend to him, the high school principal managed to stop the ambulance from driving onto the newly renovated field because she claimed that it would violate district policy.
Ok, hold up. First of all, this is football. Yes, its high school football, but it is still violent. Head injuries should never to be taken lightly. Doesn’t everybody remember Natasha Richardson? Actor Liam Neeson’s wife, Natasha Richardson who had a mild skiing accident in March of last year, fell and bumped her head, and dropped dead hours later. The autopsy determined she had an epidural hematoma. My point? Serious head injuries are not flippant matters because they can be life-threatening. And when a 14-year-old’s life hangs in the balance, urgency should be expected.
That brings me to the high school principal. Liz Seabury, a new high school principal was under the impression that ambulance vehicles could not be on the remodeled turf. Seabury later learned that the district did indeed provide an exception for emergency vehicles.
New turf or not, policy about vehicles or no policy, common sense should have prevailed.
Because the principal refused to allow the ambulance onto the field, emergency responders were forced to haul a gurney, 75 yards to the injured player. All medical experts agree that seconds are critical when treating a head injury.
So the question remains: Who is at fault? The district for its apparently opaque policy? The principal for not exercising common sense? Or the emergency personnel for not overriding the principal?
Seriously, California – wake up! All of you who choose to follow the law to the letter at the expense of common sense need a big ol’ reality slap across the face. That kid could have died right there on the field. Bet that tragic outcome would have been a wake up call, huh?
Ding dong Seabury should have never put her foot down in order to “follow the rules” and the emergency workers should have floored that sucker onto the field anyway to attend to Gallardo.
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