Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Emergency!"

Kathryn at DYM told of an exploit at her place. Well, not necessarily at her place. She told it on this site due to an embarrassment issue, but we all knew it was her, so I don’t know why she had tell that story anywhere else. We've seen her embarrass herself enough at home.

Anyway, after accidently smashing her little Laylee’s fingers in the door and calling 911 to save the day, some really great EMT took charge of everything and even had the niceness to wink. I love that story. It makes me think of "Emergency!", the show featuring Station 51 and all sorts of emergency problems. (Anyone remember that show? I bet many a kid decided to go into that field because of it.)

Some people get all the luck.

Our one experience with 911 was confusing, to say the least.

A couple of years ago, I was at work when I received a call from Mr. Right telling me that our son was attacked by a dog. The boy was swinging on the swing when a neighbor’s dog was outside doing his business. All of a sudden the dog took off and just bit my son in the leg, no provocation or teasing or anything. My son, who was scared of dogs anyway, just started screaming, while Mr. Right came running to the rescue.

Of course after hearing the news, I took off from work and made it home in about 3 minutes. (Only a 7 minute drive anyway, but a kid in trouble always makes my foot press a little more.) Mr. Right was talking to 911 when I walked in, and they said to just wait there, someone would be there soon.

Now I don’t know about you, but soon to me is 10 minutes top, especially in an emergency. Okay, this wasn’t an immediate life or death emergency, but I expect all other things to stand still and to take second seat when one of my children is in trouble. Now call me generous or stupid, but 30 minutes later, no one had appeared. No EMT, no policeman, no dog catcher… Nothing. Me being me, of course, I was fuming and getting ready to just take my son to the ER, breathing fire at 911’s lack of response.

Mr. Right, ever the controlled one in our family, called 911 back, happened to get the same operator (big town – so unusual) and asked why no one had responded to our call. The operator said that when you own the dog, the policeman will be by later. I don’t know where she got that we owned the dog, but when she found out that we were the parents of the attacked boy and we had called almost 4o minutes, she immediately started to backtrack. She offered the ambulance, the police, free speeding pass, tickets to the policemen’s ball… whatever it took to fix things.

As if that where possible.

I was already getting my son out the door for an ER visit. We had good suspicions that the dog had already had its rabies shot, mainly because the owner came to apologize profusely and to request all the bills and to find all the vet records, proving she was up to date on her shots. I was upset at the owner for not having the dog on a leash, but I couldn’t stay mad with that kind of personal accountability. (The next day we went up to tell them that we had no hard feelings and even took them cookies. But alas, they were so embarrassed, they moved out by the end of the month. I kind of felt sorry for them.)

Eventually everything worked out at the ER, the policeman found us there for the report and pictures, and my son came away with stickers, a lollipop and nary a stitch (which they debated over for a small time). The boy was happy and we were relieved, although I was still ticked at that operator for not listening to our call.

I’m sure it was an honest mistake, and really I’m not upset anymore. I just hope it helped her to be a better listener for the next calls. We were blessed in our “emergency”; some others may not be so fortunate, when every second counts.

All that being said, I want to give a huge THANK YOU to those men and women who serve to help and protect us when we need it most. You are heroes in my eyes. (Yes, even you little lady operator.)

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