101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Tuesday, November 4

...for the man down...


Have I mentioned how much I love cell phones and how they make reporting an emergency so simple? Especially on a major through way when folks from out of town call as they're driving by.

THE EMERGENCY
Someone driving past a bus stop notices a man lying partially in the street with his legs in the bus zone. Instead of honking or even stopping to render aid, they have called 911 reporting the situation and, unable to confirm the man is alive, dispatchers have sent the calvary. What the caller leaves out is that there are easily a dozen people standing near the man at the bus stop. An engine, ambulance and even a Paramedic Supervisor are racing to the scene.

THE ACTION
Rescuers arrive to find a gentleman who looks familiar lying, as reported, partially in the bus zone. As we approach on foot he glances up at us and the idling fire engine. "This for me?" he asks as he begins to get up. The half dozen locals at the bus stop saw no need to call and they filled us in to why. At this particular stop the bus often passes by when a fellow of this man's nature (and odor) is seen in the bus stop shelter. Right or wrong, it happens. By laying partially in the bus zone, the bus must stop in order to avoid hitting his legs and merge into the other busy lanes. As the bus stops, the locals get on and the man sleeps half in the road. When he heard more sirens he spooked, got up and casually wandered off, politely leaving his odor behind for the others.

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