Posted Tuesday, 19 February 2008 at 15:26
This blog is in praise of the emergency services, men in white vans, and the part they played in a miracle which occurred early this morning.
Today I was awoken by a policeman.
One moment I was in a warm, dark bed, tucked up in my dreams; next there were sirens screaming in my ears as background music to a man with an amazingly calm voice, telling me that my world may be about to tip upside down.
My daughter had in fact been upside down in a wrecked car, and was trapped in the foetal position, still in her seat belt.
It was a man in a white van who called the emergency services and talked to her in soothing tones until they arrived.
It was another man in a white van who collected her belongings together, which had been sucked out of the car as if by a vacuum, when all the windows smashed in unison.
The material value of her life flung hundreds of yards into farmers' fields and up into trees.
The fire brigade had arrived in a single minute, the paramedics and police in quick pursuit.
I am typing this in A+E, fingers no longer shaking, world intact.
She breathes, she moves, she talks, everything else will heal.
The road is clear again thanks to the vehicle recovery people - anyone travelling now would have no idea of the chaos which existed only a few hours ago.
The fire brigade, police and ambulance services have all been amazing, both in their ability and professionalism.
As adverse weather conditions prevail this month and our roads become covered with black ice, they will be stretched to the limit, having to deal with situations most of us can't even bear to think about.
I feel guilty - like many, I take for granted that we have emergency services on the end of a phone.
The man who dialled 999 swears the firemen were there in 30 seconds; he could be right.
Possibly our most undervalued service, the one we come into contact with the least.
Did the people of New York appreciate their Fire Service before 9/11?
I know I will always be thankful to ours, many of whom have other full time jobs, in addition to being firemen.
They are heroes who work closely with guardian angels, or they did today at least.
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
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