Roadkill: An Emergency Responder, Absent A Gun, Is Handed A Grim Task

The red emergency lights from the fire truck sweep over the elk. She is sternal, her legs drawn up under her, head and neck up. Such long necks. “F–k,” I exhale, seeing that there is still active, unfolding carnage here. I can see the driver, sitting up in the pickup cab, face lit by the glow of his phone. The pale blue airbag lays limp from the steering wheel.

My mind clicks into triage mode: I want to do something about the elk, but, as a firefighter, there are things I have to do first. Size up the scene, and relay the information over the radio. Check the vehicle occupants, then get high-vis emergency signs out on either side of the wreck. Avoiding secondary crashes on the dark highway is top priority.

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