Blog: Little Sheriff

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Netherlands – A report is received of a major collision with several injuries in a tunnel. A lot of traffic is stuck. The fire brigade has decided to evacuate a large proportion of the non-seriously injured people. With a group of police students we have the task of organizing reception at the police station.

None of us know what to expect. The young colleagues still find it difficult to give themselves an attitude. The tension is palpable, because at the same time they hear what is happening and that there is a considerable transport of people on the way. No one dares to imagine what is to come. It lasts and lasts. I hear someone say that the group of people may have been taken to another station. There is a bit of nervous laughter.

A signal comes that the first car has arrived. Five colleagues run to the front door of the office. I’m going after it. I see them suddenly startled. A colleague’s bear carries a little boy in his arms who is screaming loudly for mom and dad. I can almost see them thinking: “Of course, children could be involved too.” That fear immediately gives way to decisiveness. The boy is taken over, comforted and taken inside. Soon after, more and more victims arrive. There is a lot of sadness. People cry and are unsure about what they have experienced and what to do next. That is also the annoying thing about an accident in a tunnel: if you can walk, you have to get out quickly. We don’t have any answers yet. What we do have is a loving, listening ear.

I look at my young colleagues and am proud. I see how well they communicate with each other and divide tasks. They try to give everyone attention. Hands are held. Even slightly injured people are being treated by nurses who have arrived.

The boy’s mother arrives in one of those ambulances. In the meantime, he walks with a colleague and is allowed to tap cups of water. He proudly shows that he, like a small sheriff, helps the police.

Gradually more and more people are being picked up by family. I see that the departing people actually say goodbye to their colleagues.

Finally we are together again and discuss the evening and night. Everyone has the feeling that together we have really been able to make a difference. Of course, that is also because of our little friend.

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