LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Rescuers display amazing kindness
November 28, 2008 · Updated 3:51 PM
To the editor:
My phone had rung just before 6 a.m. I called 911 and when
I arrived 15 minutes later, my client was lying on the bathroom floor under a gray blanket while the EMTs carefully examined and questioned her.
The story unfolded: she had wakened urgently — something she had eaten had unexpectedly caused her to have “the runs.” The evidence of that was all around her now. She had tried to clean herself in the shower; then when she stepped out of the tub she had lost her footing and fallen hard on her right arm, breaking it near the shoulder.
She’d painfully crawled to the phone in her bedroom and dialed my number (I hold her durable power of attorney for Healthcare). Then, feeling further intestinal distress, she’d crawled back to the bathroom; that’s where the ambulance crew and fire department emergency team found her. The landlord who lives nearby had unlocked the door for the emergency personnel.
This letter, however, is not about the story of the accident and the excellent care the EMTs provided, but about a quietly compassionate act that happened after my client was in the ambulance, after I’d headed for the hospital to advocate for her, after the drama was over: the landlord was turning off the lights and preparing to lock the house when some of the fire department team knocked on the door — they had returned to clean up the bathroom floor and the bedroom carpet. “That would be a nasty thing to come back home to,” one said, as he set about mopping up the mess with a casual it’s-what-anyone-would-do attitude.
Well, it’s not what just anyone would do. It was an act of extraordinary kindness, and way above and beyond “the call of duty” for our fire department rescue workers. I am awed, and deeply grateful.