It was a crazy day. I think Bob and I had had about 10 ALS calls in the same number of hours. Real ALS calls, not protocol ALS calls, so we were pretty dopey by evening. It must have been winter or early spring, because I remember there was snow on the ground — and mud, lots of mud.
We were dispatched for a guy who had put his hand through a window and was bleeding pretty badly. The police were on scene with the guy. It was at a subdivision on the edge of town, surrounded by fields. We missed the first turnoff to a road leading to the complex, but made the next left onto Fowl Road, which the map showed led to the back of the neighborhood.
Our supervisor started yelling at us over the radio, but it was staticky and difficult to make out what he was saying. I think I heard some expletives, and it sounded like he was trying to tell us to turn back, doesn’t go through, something like that. But hey, what did he know? It was on the map, right? Besides, the road was one lane with snow and mud fields on either side and no place to turn.
So on we drove. Then we slipped, skidded, and finally ploughed as the pavement disappeared into an indistinct dirt road turned to slush by the melting snow. Now it was we who were uttering expletives. Driving finesse was no longer working. The tires were spinning, flying mud was smacking the undercarriage, and we were gradually slowing down.
“Hold on,” I yelled to Bob. “This could be interesting.” I floored it and turned left off the road, hoping the field might be more firm than the ruts we were making. We lurched into the snow and made a wide skidding arc through the field, eventually getting back on the road in the other direction. We finally made it back to pavement, coated in mud and slush. I wonder what the cops thought when we finally pulled up at the scene. Luckily, the guy hadn’t bled out completely by the time we got there. As a matter of fact, I think he tried to jump out of the back of the squad on the way to the hospital.
Through the magic of Google, I just looked up Fowl Road. It’s still there and still surrounded by fields. I zoomed in, and it looks like part of it remains unpaved. As a matter of fact, if I look closely I think I can just make out a strange arcing rut in the field to the west of the road. Probably the remains of an ancient crop circle made by the aliens who long ago visited north-central Ohio. I believe some of their ancestors still live in the area. As a matter of fact, I heard some of them are paramedics.