06 January 2011

Emergency Dept: Stop Dawdling!

One of the best things about travelling is the opportunity of meeting new people and if you are lucky making friends with some of them. I met Ellen via a friend when I visited Melbourne in May last year and thanks to the latest means of communication such as Twitter and now facebook, we have remained in contact ever since.
It was so good to see her again last night (or rather the day before yesterday's night), this time in our own kaki lima. Errrr, I mean Kota Kinabalu. He.
We went yada yada about lots of things ranging from the most individual endeavors such as job (glad to know she's happy with her new job) to some big issues including national security concerns (wohoooo!), from the stupid plan of demolishing the 100+ years old Atkinson Tower to give way to yet another shopping mall, to the Gimme-That-Damn-Project-and-the-money-that-comes-with-it Coal-Fired Power Plant   (ewwww!). The highlight was of course.. Our plan to cover some of the least travelled parts of the world - via the trans Siberian Railway in 2012. Wohoooo. Can't wait! (planning to take an unpaid leave if I have to. LOL!).
Oh well, this entry isn't really about this brief meeting of ours but more on what happened next. I was driving back to my hotel (err, it was actually a B&B) when I bumped into a road accident and through the window of my car I could see a lady slumped on the ground and holding a teenager boy on her lap. Needless to say, she was sobbing uncontroablly, almost crying actually (she was probably crying before).

I knew it was a car accident but I couldn't see the vehicle. I wasn't really prepared to be on a close range with a misery that might terrify me later so I decided not to stop and continued driving. Oh well, thanks to all the ever-continuous re-alignments and new changes in the road system in KK, I found myself taking the wrong turn which eventually led me back to the road accident. This time, almost on an impulse, I pulled over.

The body was still there, lying still over the side of the road. The lady was no more there so the boy was left lying on the grass with the rain drizzling all over him. It was such a painful sight. I came closer to see a car sandwiched in a monsoon drain nearby, totally crumpled up I couldn’t even decide whether it was a Kancil or a Kelisa.

10 minutes had passed by and the ambulance was still nowhere to be seen around. I gauged it must have taken me at least another 8-10 minutes to (involuntarily) return to the scene (I drove very very very very very slowly. What do you expect from somebody who has just seen a road accident?), and judging from how sandwiched the car was, it must have had taken them quite awhile to take him out of the car. A number of police officers were already there to control the traffic and a large number of curious crowds were already flooding in. I believed, it’d been quite awhile since the accident took place.
I couldn’t help but wondering – what took the ambulance so long to come over when the hospital was very much in the vicinity of the scene? Weren’t they supposed to be on a round-the-clock standby that all they had to do was to hop into the vehicle and broomed their way away the moment they received the emergency call? Did they take their sweet time finishing their teh tarik before getting their asses off into action? Did they have to call their ketua who was probably soundly asleep in the warmth of his wife comforter to get a permission to use the ambulance car?

Just a little bit of additional note here, the police officers were already there when I first drove past the scene and so was the lady (who was probably the mother of the teenager boy). There was no way NOBODY had made a phone call to the emergency department at that time.

It was almost midnight when most of the roads were deserted so traffic jam for a reason was totally out of the question.

A reporter was already there long before the ambulance had finally arrived. I don’t know but all the ideas of how the reporter was there by accident or just so happened he lived around the neighborhood – it all sounds so ridiculous to me.

Whatever the reason was, I believe there is always room for improvement. We’re talking about a potentially fatal accident where every minute counts to save lives.

OH well, I checked the Daily Express Online today and I am glad that fate had decided to give all of them (apparently there were 4 people in the car) the chances to live on.

I still believe though that with such a dawdling operational movement of the emergency unit, THINGS COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE.
BTW, seems like MR. Rain is all over the country now and it’s not something to be happy about when it comes to driving on the road. You’re more likely to skid off so the possibility of an accident to occur is probably higher.
Since I scored a distinction in my SPM physics paper har har har, I’m gonna tell you a little bit about car accident in the physic and kinetic concept. Oh well, a moving car is well-represented by this equation.

F = ma

F is the force that the vehicle carries while it is moving. It also represents the impact of the vehicle when it hits into something, say a tree or a wall or even a lembu or kuda. You have no idea how harmful they can be to your car and even your physical wholesomeness. Ngeee!
F also represents the difficulty level of stopping the vehicle by mean of braking it. In an easier way of telling it, it is easier to stop a car when it is going slow than when it is speeding.

m is the weight of the vehicle

a is more like the speed of the vehicle

The equation tells us how the force that the vehicle carries increases with the weight and the speed of its movement. The heavier or the faster the car is, the bigger the force that it carries. The bigger the force that it carries, the bigger the impact would be when it hits into something. And of course the bigger the impact is, the bigger the damage or harm it COULD cause.

We can’t really control or change the weight of the vehicle because it comes in a package.

But we can always control the speed (a).

We control the force that the vehicle carries by controlling its speed.

That is the basic concept of everything. Of course there are other things to factor in such as the significant decrease in the friction between the tyres and the road when it is raining but it all basically comes back to the same equation : F= ma. (Think!)

That’s about all for today. Thanks for making your time to read my blabbering about the physic concept of road accidents. Oh well, accidents are accidents. They can happen no matter how much we don't want them to. I'm just trying to share the basic concept in a different (and more academic har har har) perspective so that you guys know how we can actually reduce the possibility of their occurences by controling what we can control.

Drive safely guys, always! *reminding myself too.


Bridget said...

Hi Jipp, glad you and Ellen got to catch up. And glad you met Deirdre too! :)

chegu carol said...

Wahhh your travel plan in 2012 sounds so exciting jipp!!!

thomas said...

TranSiberia sound very interesting,how long will the journey takes?

JIPP said...

Widgie: OH yes, Deirdre! I've been trying to recall her name. I was having a great time chatting with them.
Carol & Thomas: OH yeah, it is interesting. When they first came up with the idea, I just jolted in excitement. Being one of the longest railways in the world, it might take weeks to cover the whole stretch. I'm looking at a month or so because we're gonna stop by at places of interest along the way. :-)

aud said...

Trans Siberian Railway - wahhh! that's so exciting! I heard of people planning the trip before, couldn't join as need a long time and discipline to save up :)

JIPP said...

So I heard Audrey. That's why I'm looking at the possiblity of taking an unpaid leave. hehe.

ken said...

when it rains.. drive slowly.. but we'll never know what's coming..

anyway, traveling across russia would be a great idea! you should check this site - http://www.seat61.com/Trans-Siberian.htm :D

JIPP said...

thank U for the link Ken. It looks very useful to me. It has just about everything that I needed. Thanks again. :-)

Andy said...

Thanks for using our image [trans-siberian route map], please refer to our website, http://www.monkeyshrine.com for Trans Siberian Railway Tours.



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