EMS staff worldwide seem to share a superstition. I'm not normally superstitious, but there are certain laws that govern this insular world of the ambulance. The main rule is check everything, because you can guarantee that the one thing that you don't have, is the one thing that you are definitely going to need. It's almost beyond superstition, it's practically a rule of the natural world.
I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a little nervous at the moment.
A couple of days back, I helped remove all the equipment from one of our trucks. It's affectionately known as Bigfoot. It's a huge, clumsy looking thing, that goes 0-40mph in about ten days. If it's ever to reach any more than 40, we'd need to push it off the edge of a mountain and let gravity take control.
But it's potentially vitally important. Bigfoot is only used under two sets of circumstances. The first is for training, which is in itself rare on this nigh-on-never used piece of equipment. The second is if there is a mass-casualty incident. That's the bit that makes me nervous. This week, Bigfoot has been sent for a bit of R&R. It's been sent for a service and won't be back for a few days.
So I'm nervous. It's the one piece of kit I've never been called on to use, or, thankfully, drive. I've never even seen it used, other than when it's been for training. Normally it just sits, reassuringly still, at the other end of the garage.
Now Bigfoot's missing, I'm hoping that it proves the superstition to be just that.