Many Hands Make Light Work

, , , , , , | Healthy | October 22, 2020

I used to volunteer with my town’s first aid squad. Most of the calls would be relatively minor in nature, but every once in a while, a true life-or-death emergency would occur.

This story occurs on the day of a blizzard with over twelve inches of snow already on the ground. We get a call for chest pain and begin to head toward the house as quickly as is safely possible. As we get onto side streets, a township snow plow meets up with us to plow the road in front of the ambulance.

We arrive at the house to see a driveway on a steep incline that is, of course, covered with snow. We all make our way up without falling and go into the house. We find a patient having a true heart emergency and in need of the hospital immediately. Our team leader takes over.

Team Leader: “[Colleague #1] and [Colleague #2], go get the snow shovels out of the rig and start making a pathway to get [Patient] out. [My Name], get [this equipment], [that equipment], and [other equipment] and bring it inside.

The three of us went outside. The other two started shoveling a pathway while I started grabbing the necessary equipment. As I started carrying it up to the house, a neighbor with a snowblower made his way over and started clearing the snow from the driveway. Suddenly, two more neighbors with snowblowers arrived and joined in the effort. On my second trip outside, I watched as two teenagers with shovels ran over and started clearing off the steps. A moment later, yet another neighbor appeared with a bag of sand and she began to coat the steps & driveway to improve traction.

We were able to get the patient down the driveway, into the ambulance, and safely to the hospital, where he made a full recovery. And my faith in humanity? Restored!


This story is part of our Most Inspirational Of 2020 roundup!

Read the next Most Inspirational Of 2020 roundup story!

Read the Most Inspirational Of 2020 roundup!


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for October 2020!

Read the next Feel Good roundup story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for October 2020!

1 Thumbs
1,151

The Time 911 Called Me

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: EisConfused | September 23, 2020

Please note that at the time of this story I was running on hope and caffeine, and had been awake for thirty hours, so some details might have changed due to my recollection.

It is the winter of 2018. I work at a call center for a power and natural gas company. The worst polar vortex storm the state has seen in ages hits us, with temperatures frequently hitting -25 or below for over a week.

Even the waffle houses closed; waffle houses are so reliable FEMA uses something called “the waffle house index” to rate disasters!

I was living close enough to work that they called me in a few times and all hours of the day over the weeks because the number of people who could arrive safely is small.

At the beginning, our queue could be over 500 people. By day three it is mostly just shouting that we need to reconnect their power before anyone else because of any number of reasons, none of which changed the reality that we couldn’t do that. The power grid is like a vascular system. If the end of the line isn’t getting blood it isn’t because the immediate juncture is stopped up. This is compounded by weather and reconnection surges frying an entire second batch of equipment and causing a second wave of outages.

Me: *Taking a call* “Thank you for calling [Power Company], my name is [My Name]; how may I help you today?”

Caller: “I’m not sure you can help, please let me know if you need to get a supervisor. My name is [Caller’s Name] and I am with [Major cellular company]. We donate facilities to be used as 911 relays and switchboards, and the 911 branch in Minnesota town has a problem. See, we have generators and fuel, but only enough for 86 hours. We are currently at about 76 hours without power. We have a fuel delivery being made on an emergency basis tomorrow after they will have been out of power for about 90 hours. With this weather, we need to remain active so our last-ditch hope was to contact you guys and see what can be done.”

I am staring blankly at the address search screen trying to process this.

Me: “Well… let me put you on hold for just a second, I want to see if we have a protocol for… this. Can I get the address of your building?”

Caller: “Oh yeah, absolutely, ask around! Anything that may help. Our address is [Very Minnesota road in very mid-west town].”

At this point, I just mute and ask the girl next to me what the h*** I do. The supervisors are beyond busy, sometimes even taking calls themselves, but she had worked there for six years and just gave me a blank stare for a moment.

Supervisor: “Huh, that’s new, call dispatch I guess. It is an emergency. Several actually.”

I hop on the line, check to make sure an order to investigate the outage is already there, check-in with the caller and get his callback line, all that, then call dispatch.

Dispatch: “Dispatch, what’s the issue?”

Me: “So I know we don’t prioritize who gets reconnected b—”

Dispatch: “Ya d*** right we don’t!”

Me: “Yes I understand that, but I have a fellow from 911 on my line. He says they’ve exhausted their options for keeping the lights on themselves. They won’t get fuel for the generator until they’ve been offline for several hours. That town was hit some of the worst, the last thing they need is to not be able to contact emergency services.”

There is a long pause.

Dispatch: “Okay, I need to put you on hold.”

I hear a bunch of shouting into different rooms because he didn’t put me on hold or even mute me. The dispatcher’s boss gets on the line.

Dispatch Boss: “This is [Dispatch Boss], I hear you’ve got 911 on your line?”

We go back and forth, I bring the cell rep into the call and hop around in the system getting our protocol stuff done, and letting my team lead know what’s going on. I never heard about the issue again, so I have to assume it worked out.

Honestly, I think that dispatch actually giving a hoot was more surreal than being called by 911. Those guys always sound like every request you make is like squeezing lemon juice in their eyes.

1 Thumbs
586

Many Marvelous Miracles!

, , , , , , , | Related | August 21, 2020

This happened eight or nine years ago. I was at my parents’ house, since I had a planned get-together with my friends, when I got a frantic call from my husband that our house was on fire. Sadly, since we only had one car at the time, I couldn’t drive home myself. My dad offered to take me but my husband told me to wait and he’d come and get me. 

The fire had started in my mother-in-law’s room when a piece of clothing fell on top of a power strip. There were a few miracles that day. 

  1. Her door to her bedroom was shut so the fire didn’t spread. 
  2. No one was hurt, including our pets, though the one cat still has PTSD, we think. 
  3. Nana didn’t go shopping that day even though Fridays were normally her shopping day with her friend.
  4. Last but not least, even though the fire reached 1500 degrees according to the firemen, my mother-in-law’s Bible only had smoke damage even though everything else in the room was destroyed. 

She still has the Bible to this day.


This story is part of our feel-good roundup for August 2020!

Read the next feel-good story here!

Read the feel-good August 2020 roundup!

1 Thumbs
311

They Got The Exact Opposite Element They Were Looking For

, , , | Right | August 14, 2020

I work for the fire department, and I answer the phone.

Me: “Fire department, how can I help you?”

There are lots of static and screaming kids in the background.

Me: “Hello, is this an emergency?”

There is still no answer, just the screaming kids.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “F****** d*** it! My d*** phone called the wrong number. I am trying to reach the f****** water department!”

Me: “I can transfer you if you would like.”

Caller: “No, you can fix my phone so it does what I want.” *Click*

Me: “If I could do that, I’d be rich.”

1 Thumbs
245

You Will Need To Call A Different Branch

, , , | Right | August 12, 2020

I work for the fire department. I get this call from the public.

Caller: “Can you come and cut down the branches from a tree in my yard?”

Me: “No, sir, we do not do branch—”

Caller: “But my kids could die! You’re supposed to save lives, not kill people.”

Me: “Our staff is not trained in the proper way to remove branches. We suggest you call an arborist since they have the proper training and equipment.”

Caller: “But I pay your salary, not theirs. You are required to help me!”

1 Thumbs
280