Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

First Responders' Curse

Not as PlannedThere's a thoroughly macabre thread unfurling at b-roll.net, the on-line watering hole of the photog nation. In it, news shooters from around the nation are sharing the kinds of stories we usually bandy about only in the presence of billowing crime tape. It's grisly stuff, but what do you expect when a bunch of first-responder journalists are asked if they've ever witnessed a fatality? I have, but I've always refrained from putting most of them to paper. Oh, it's potent fodder for a struggling scribe like myself, but there are still some moments even I don't wanna relive. Maybe it's because my brother's a paramedic and my respect for what he does at emergency scenes renders my own tales of bystander-woe inadequate. Perhaps it's due to my distaste for gore as entertainment (Sorry, Stephen King!). Most likely though, it's because I know I can't honestly write about something without figuring out how it makes me feel. And sometimes that jumble of old emotions is best left tangled by the roadside. That said, I invite you to scroll through the responses if you're in the mood to cruise the dark side -- if for no other reason - to read Lensmith's account of rolling up on a bad accident long, long ago...
A garbage truck with those long forks in front to hoist the dumpster up and over into the back. This day, those forks were skewering a sedan, like a hot dog on a fork. I'm walking up doing what I can to make sure I've got sound and white balance when I hear that sucking sound. You know... the one where a lung has been punctured and air is being brought into the body by an additional, unplanned orifice. I look up to see an elderly lady in the driver seat. Her head is thrown back and she's actually looking at me right in the eye, but upside down. That sound. Over and over. Weaker and weaker. Then her eyes glaze over... and the sound stops.
Think TV news shooters don't ponder on what passes through their lens? Think we show you all our pictures on the evening news? Think the worst of those images don't replay on darkened bedroom walls and otherwise bright psyches? Think again...

No comments: