Now I Know What Happens If You’re Hit By A Fire Truck

For many a thing that can happen on any given day there are plans and processes, contingencies which belong to some person or team to handle should they arise. Take what happens should you be involved, while returning from the grocery store, in a traffic accident with a fire truck.

The truck stops. About this there is no question, though you should protest to the firefighters, “I don’t want to keep you from where you’re going.” The sirens were sounding. The lights were flashing. That’s why you pulled over. How could you have known that the corner you rolled to a stop at would be the very corner the truck needed to take? How could you know any of what would happen when the truck cut the corner too sharply and rode up on your front left bumper?

The truck stops, though you and every firefighter inside can see the emergency they were responding to about a half a mile up the block. It’s all process from here. A traffic officer is called, a report is taken and you’re given a link to a website where you can view that police report. Then the fire chief shows up and takes your statement, followed by a department photographer who snaps some pictures.

You go home and initiate a claim with your insurance. You take the car in to the shop they tell you, wait a week, pay the deductible, and you have your car back. Then you submit a claim of liability to the city to get that deductible reimbursed. Then you wait. It’s like any other accident.

Most of what happens most days fits this pattern. Things happen. Processes and plans kick in. That’s good and stable and predictable. The real test is when something happens that nobody has yet considered and for which no plans or processes have been devised.

Today I’m glad to know that a traffic accident with a fire truck is more like the former than the latter.

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