On that hot August night in downtown Washington, DC, I found myself in a serious situation. One that I hoped I'd never run in to, but had been trained for.
In my career as a Special Agent, training was a big part of my life. Qualifications, requalifications, classes, updates, new instructions, hands on techniques practiced again and again. It was all designed to keep you on your toes and at the top of your game.
But the biggest thing that I went over again and again was the "What Ifs". Sometimes it would be just thinking about what I'd do in a certain situation, other times it was a good topic at lunch with my fellow agents, or even a great discussion during training sessions with instructors that had been around for a long time.
Like a basketball player who visualized hitting a basket, mentally I pictured myself involved in various scenarios and went over what I would do if that situation ever presented itself.
So, how does this all tie in to the RV lifestyle? Stay with me on this and let me ask a question:
How would you handle an RV "What If" situation?
What if you had a blow out of a front tire while you're driving down the highway? How do you keep from running off the road?
What if you had a fire on the stove? Where is the fire extinguisher located?
What if the refrigerator suddenly caught fire? How would you get out of the RV? Do you know where the emergency escape windows are and how they open?
What if the RV became engulfed in flames, what would happen to your wallet, your purse, your car keys, your cell phone? Have you ever thought about a "Bail Out Bag" kept by the door with important items, extra keys, cash, credit cards, ID that you could grab on the way out of the RV in an emergency exit?
What if the primary driver of your RV fell down and suffered a broken leg, would you know how to operate all the RV systems and be able to drive it?
There are many "What Ifs" that you suddenly could be faced when you least expect it, would you be prepared to be able to handle it? By taking a few minutes once in a while and thinking over what you would do in an emergency could turn a bad situation into one that you'd be able to handle with less trouble, it could prevent a catastrophe or even save your life, or the life of a loved one.
As I started to squeeze the trigger, Jeep Girl must have heard my shout, even though it took a second to penetrate her rage. She stopped moving her arm, turned her head and looked at me. Her eyes popped, she dropped the screwdriver and let go of the punched girl who staggered back and leaned against a nearby car. I ordered Jeep Girl to the ground and took control of the screwdriver.
While I was handling this situation, another police officer, off duty, pulled up to the gas pumps. When she saw the situation and the other girls that were brawling, she put out an "Officer Needs Assistance call and in minutes there were about twenty DC Metro Police officers on scene.
The result? All the girls were arrested by the DC Police for disorderly conduct. Jeep Girl was charged with aggravated assault and went to jail.
And me? I went home and went to bed instead of having to deal with loads of paperwork from a shooting situation. I had "What If-d" this type of situation many times and when it happened, I reacted instinctively instead of watching a tragedy occur in front of me.
One Coast Guard Commandant I had worked for had a motto: "Preparation Equals Performance". I had prepared and the one time in my thirty year career I had to draw my weapon, I was ready.
Now I'm doing the "What If" on how much fun it'll be on the road full time in the Journey with Marti by my side.
PS: Even though I was a federal agent, in situations it's better to announce yourself as "Police" because it is much more recognizable to people.
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