And I need to say right up front, it will probably turn into 911 edition(S), because, let’s just say, 9-1-1 and I go way back. We have quite the history together. In fact, I think I am now on the official 9-1-1 “do not take her call” list.
One of my friends, whose husband was an EMT, used my stories in his training sessions to rookie EMT’ers. I think it went something like this… “not everyone uses 9-1-1 correctly, like my friend Darla for example…”.
But 9-1-1 is a wonderful service provided to American taxpayers and so I have just been exercising my freedom. And I always thought I was using it correctly. Until they told me I wasn’t.
And I’m certainly not as bad as the woman who called 9-1-1 because McDonalds was out of chicken mcnuggets. They fined her for that. I would never, ever call if McDonalds didn’t have chicken mcnuggets. But Sonic runs out of Diet Coke…well, they might be hearing from me.
All that to say, I got a phone call Saturday morning from my mom urging me to pray for my sweet niece Addison who was locked in her moms car. (Note to file…never give a child your keys to play with while you are putting the stroller in the trunk). She informed me that my dad was searching for a key to my sisters house so he could then go get the key and drive to my sister and free her baby.
Now that was just going to take entirely too long.
So I asked what I always ask in crisis situations…. “has she called 9-1-1?”
Because, you see, I myself once locked Caroline in the car (and it wasn’t because I was doing something responsible like putting the stroller up). Before I knew it firetrucks were zooming and they had a locksmith in tow who was under contract with the city. He popped my lock and after the firemen checked out my baby (who had only been locked in the car about 45 seconds it seemed, and had never known the difference), they said I could go on my way. I asked how much I owed for the locksmith and they said since I called 9-1-1 and a child was inside the car, it was free.
And I thought that was mighty nice of them.
Nicer than the time that I called them when Caroline rolled off her changing table. Scared me half to death. I was quite sure I’d broken my 6 week old baby (who I technically did not think was old enough to roll….especially while I reached back to grab a clean diaper!). Those fireman zoomed up to my house but then appeared to “lollygag” walking up to my house. So I yelled….“RUN! RUN!” to them. Of course by this point Caroline wasn’t even crying and I’m not exactly sure why I yelled run, except that you always hear about fireman “running” to a call so I figured they should be running. Again, she checked out fine. The only real trauma of the day was when Bill got this phone call at work:
“Hello Mr. Baerg. This is Captain so and so of the Houston Fire Department. I have your wife and baby here (at this point Bill was about to go into cardiac arrest), and they are fine (at which point Bill was relieved that we were ok but assumed the house had burned down).”
And after Bill recovered from his own personal trauma we went on about our day.
Until Caroline was about 3 months old. And she was heavy. Very, Very Heavy. And I was traveling alone with her to Minneapolis. And my arm went numb and I felt light headed and I thought I might be having a stroke so I called 9-1-1 in the Kansas City airport. And they rushed right up in their little cart. They had me drink orange juice and took Caroline from me. It was at that point that the feeling started coming back into my arm and I realized I was probably not having a stroke.
It would have been fine, but then they decided I quite possibly should not fly since I thought I was having a stroke. They, again, got Bill on the phone. He was already in Minneapolis and convinced them that I could fly (apparently by now he had been through enough life experiences with me to know I was all right).
The embarrassing part was that I had to enter and exit the airplane in a wheelchair. And after the orange juice (and a bagel I bought) I was totally fine. Bill just hung his head when they rolled me off the plane. I kid you not, I was trying SO hard not to laugh and to look a little sick- ish so they wouldn’t think I was a faker.
Now those are just the 9-1-1 events in Caroline’s first year of life.
There have been many more.
Oh people, there have been many, many more.