Friday, May 21, 2010

Keep the Ambulance Off the Grass!

Potomac player, staff work on injured player.^

Ambulance circles the field, rather than going straight out.^

A scary incident involving a beanball during the Salem-Potomac Carolina League baseball game tonight tempered the good time some of my buds and I were having.

Potomac catcher Derek Norris--the No. 2 prospect in the Washington minor league organization--was hit in the helmet by a Zach Hammes fastball late in the game and was finally carried off in an ambulance 25 minutes later. The team says Norris regained consciousness and has movement in his extremities. For a while, that didn't look plausible.

I was astonished that the rescue vehicle, whose driver seemed hesitant to drive onto the grass, gingerly crept toward the stretched out player who was surrounded by emergency workers. He used the track around the field and actually drove all the way around the ballpark, avoiding any grassy area, with the young player in back, heading for the hospital.

It would have been much shorter to have turned the ambulance around and headed straight out of the ballpark. I will not make a judgment here about whether the young man was endangered so as not to have tire tracks on the grass, but that’s what it looked like. If that is, indeed, somebody's employment needs to be re-considered. Salem lost 5-4, if it matters.


  1. It's pretty incredible that an ambulance couldn't drive on the grass... considering it is "Lewis-Gale" Field. I wonder what the wait time was in the ER?

  2. Dan, In was in the press box and so was Carey Harveycutter, who is not only the director of the facility but a life member of the Salem Rescue Squad. He was hoping the young man driving the ambulance would realize it was too heavy for the grass because it would break any sprinkler heads it runs over. That was the reason it was kept off the grass.

  3. Chris: Regardless of how rational the decision was, a few thousand people saw an ambulance driver apparently care more about the grass than the injured player. I know that's not the case, but perception is often more powerful than reality and the perception here is chilling.