Posts Tagged ‘public servant’

Peaking, in Seconds and Feet

Saturday, May 30th, 2009
Shawn Alladio

Shawn Alladio

Just got a call. A visceral scream was the first thing I heard. Someone unloading into their phone and I was the recipient. Confusion, alarm, concern, all the keywords one goes through when you know something bad has happened to the person on the phone with you, flashed my psyche as dread fell upon me.

I  then realized that Shawn Alladio was the gutteral scream. She was in her car, naked for the most part, burned, bruised, in shock. We established a rapport and I began to talk her down.

It is 12:15 AM. I am now wired and beyond alert. Shawn had rung off as she reached her home in OC. I knew that she had just done a long day at sea with the military in an appreciation day that her company, K38 Rescue had just put on.

In her weary drive home she had rolled up on a flame wall on the 5 Fwy. She said that she had driven through it and that it looked like Armageddon. Pulling up to a burning car she got out and saw movement in the flames. Grabbing a prybar she broke the window and grabbed at the squirming flame ball that was a man. She said his hands had looked like candles as they burned.

There were bystanders and she screamed for help, but as sometimes happens no one moved and as she managed to gain control of the flaming man she began to pull him out and his foot caught in the debris. Screaming at the bystanders, they finally broke from shock and jumped the two.  As they dragged the guy away, the car exploded.

“I smell David, I smell like fire and burning flesh, I think I fractured my arm, I am almost home”

Shawn thought that the car had punctured it’s tank in a collision with the guard rail, setting off the tempest. I am taking a sip of vodka right now. It burns and rasps my throat. I am worried about my friend.  Emotionally peaking myself, because I love her and can do nothing. But knowing Shawn,  I understand that she will be all right. Eventually. Someone lives tonight, albeit in agony, because Shawn was where she was supposed to be. It is her lot, this sort of thing. Lucky guy.

Shawn always lectures us that rescue (and life) is all about seconds and feet. You have seconds in which to assess and feet in which to react. Tonight once again she illustrated her point. Seconds and feet.

The images below are from the K38 Liquid Militia get together at Dos  Pueblos Ranch on the Gaviota coast over Memorial Day weekend.

On first glance you would think it is a bunch of speed freaks and water gearheads going whack. You would be wrong. It was simply Shawn building esprit de corp, skill and teamwork with her tribe. You and I should be so lucky, that if we ever need a hero, any of them showed up. The thing with Shawn is, she always comes. Always faithful. The list of things that she has accomplished is so vast, and she is really so guarded about it, that I smile when I think about how in trouble I probably am,  for writing this blog this morning.

What is a hero? Someone prepared to give all, with skills available that increase the odds of their success and you seeing your loved ones once again. I love the way the dictionary describes the term below. Funny really and incorrect in this case.
hero |ˈhi(ə)rō|
noun ( pl. -roes)
a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities : a war hero.

This first image below dropped into my in box in the wee hours. Shawn had shot it before the EMT’s took over. That is a couple who are covering the victim with a blanket.  She walked back to her truck and drove away. I guess she maybe wasn’t sleeping either. Amazing.
This video was sent to me through Twitter. It describes Shawn’s life stance perfectly. I am blown away. It is all of us.

Recovery: On scene image C Shawn Alladio

Recovery: On scene image C Shawn Alladio




I rarely do addendums. Here is Shawn’s letter to our team this morning. It says more, back to front than I could, right down to the signature at the page end. And after, some friends and fellow trainees, all of them more accomplished than you would ever imagine. Shawn enhanced their already impressive skill set in her courses.

Thanks All,
I finally got to sleep early this am, and I’m resting.  I couldn’t get this man’s image out of my moments, I really don’t have any injuries to speak of.  I think I was flushing a long exhausting day, lots of emotional connectors from 2 days of hard work, little rest, then this man’s situation, just topped me.  I don’t have any pain at all, but last night was intense, I think most of it may have been emotional or ‘psyche’ driven.  That’s an honest statement.  I’m a bit banged up but cool.  Will rest today and thanks for your thoughts.  I did call Mark, Pirate, and Mike, and David, was trying to text to Ryan but I couldn’t make my fingers work. LOL I gave up on the texting and calls, I couldn’t get connections.  It’s behind me now, but this man, it is forever. I am going to get dressed and go to Starbucks of course and get a double shot of something, then go over to the hospital to see if he is ok. I hope he has not lost his sight, that seems to be in my thoughts a lot.  I will never forget, and we all should appreciate today with profound interest and joy. That is the message in this man’s situation, no crying…get out and about and change the world today, for surely you know not what comes next.
Love to all my friends,
shawn“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in time of moral crisis”

-Dante Alighieri
(Italian Florentine Poet)

http://www.K38WaterSafety.com

The Life You Save May Be Your Own


The boys. Military Ap day. K38

The boys. Military Ap day. K38

A beautiful thing. Military Ap day. K38

A beautiful thing. Military Ap day. K38

Shawn, Brad Colbert and the boys. Yesterday !

Shawn, Brad Colbert and the boys. Yesterday !

Carlos Burle, Maya Gabeira, and Shawn. ORT, Morro Bay

Carlos Burle, Maya Gabeira, and Shawn. ORT, Morro Bay

Us in ORT at Morro Bay

Us in ORT at Morro Bay

usaf_pararescue

Post night ops, Military Class

Post night ops, Military Class

When you are the boss

When you are the boss

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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