Yesterday I caught a breaking story and had to drive out to Duarte. That's about a twenty or thirty minute drive without traffic. So, of course I had traffic.
When I got the assignment, a rescue was in progress at a construction site. We had a helicopter over the scene, but the station wanted to get a ground crew there right away.
Because of the time of day, it took me almost an hour to get close to the scene. I think it was around 2:45pm when I left Hollywood and about 3:45pm when I called the desk to update them on my progress.
I was in pretty good mood until they told me the rescue operation was now officially a recovery operation.
Those are heavy words and it changes the mood when the announcement is made. It means that they've verified the victim is dead. Efforts are now being made to recover the body.
That makes everything else that I experienced that day pretty trivial, but I've been there before (and blogged about it). Just know that I don't get to stop and reflect on the tragedy of the situation. I still have a job to do.
In this case it was further complicated when I was then told that they'd like the story as the lead for the 4:00pm show.
Great, that's less than fifteen minutes away and I'm not even on scene yet.
This is where a lot of news folks might feel a bit of stress and anxiety. I don't. I'm not going to complain or vent or let the circumstances dictate my attitude or how I go about doing my job. The bottom line? I'm just not going to panic.
I try to tell people, panic is not going to help.
All I can do is try.
I'm supposed to meet the reporter at the scene. He had almost as far to drive as I did, but he's not there when I arrive. Setting up a liveshot is second nature and I fire up the generator. There's no checklist or order to things, I just flip switches and toss gear out of truck. I connect cables and try to keep an eye on everything going on around me.
A stringer has video of the scene. I make a dub while establishing a link to the station and feed the tape as soon as it's done dubbing.
The reporter arrives. We're too late for the top of the show, but they still want to take us. It's only about five minutes past the hour. I did try my best, but I knew there was no way I'd be ready for the top of the show.
Just because I don't panic, doesn't mean I don't try.
Whoa, there goes the phone. I was blogging from my van while waiting for an assignment. That was the call.
I guess I'll check back later and let you know what it was.