He looked dead. Covered in dirt, unmoving, barely breathing.
A passerby saw the crumpled heap while driving through the construction site and called 911. A massive highway improvement project is underway in Providence. Our victim collapsed there, a few feet off of Eddy Street, under a bridge. I checked for a pulse, found one and helped Renato load him onto the stretcher.
It was Kevin, a homeless alcoholic I know well. We put him into the rescue and headed for Rhode Island Hospital, three blocks away. Kevin remained comotose enroute, didn't even flinch while I started an IV. His vital signs were stable but he was completely unresponsive. I turned on the exhaust system in back but it was too late; the smell of stale piss, shit and vomit had permeated my skin and clothes. I would be reminded of Kevin for hours.
Renato backed into the rescue bay, I got out and swung the rear doors open. As I pulled the stretcher out of the truck my patient sat strait up, looked me in the eye and said, "WHO WAS THE GUY…. THAT PLAYED THE CAPTAIN…. ON SEA WATCH?"
I dropped the wheels to the pavement and answered, "Beau Briges!" Kevin fell back onto the stretcher and we wheeled him in.