Z. Madison

For when you're relaxing at home or killing company time - Z. Madison's here for you.

6.12.2006

Hey 911, How About I Help You?

The Boyfriend and I were out and about walking around the West Village yesterday, when we came upon a grisly scene. Walking on Barrow and approaching 7th Avenue SOUTH (this will be important later), he suddenly dashes ahead of me toward the Caliente Cab Company. For those that aren't a walking Zagat, the Caliente Cab is a Southwestern/Mexican joint that serves dandy margaritas in a spacious outdoor area at a fairly busy intersection that apparently is not on 911's maps.

As I approach where The Boyfriend dashed to, I spot an elderly woman laying flat on her back on the sidewalk with a middle aged man and woman holding her hand and looking around helplessly. I whip out my Razr and dial 911 as a few onlookers gathered around. Someone brought the poor woman's daughter-in-law some napkins and water and the man keeps saying over and over "Mom?" I can't tell if she's conscious or not and after the 3rd ring or so 911 answers.

"This is 911, what's your emergency?"

"Yes, send an ambulance. There's a woman laying on the sidewalk in front of Caliente..."

"This is 911, what is the problem?"

"YES, there's a woman. Sidewalk. Oh god, she's bleeding. From her ear. I'm on the corner of 7th Ave and Barrow. In front of the Caliente Cab Company. Send an ambulance!"

"You're in front of a cab company?"

"NO, it's a restaurant. 7th and Barrow and Cornelia."

The 911 operator now proceeds to put me on mute while she dials up another operator. They then commence to argue over a job number. I'm yelling into the phone "Hello? Hello? Just send an ambulance. Figure out the job number after!"

This goes on for another minute or two. Meanwhile, people are exiting the subway station nearby, clearly coming from the Puerto Rican parade and elsewhere. All slowing to a crawl as they walk by the woman and comment "Oh Shit!".

I spot a guy about 3 feet to my right also with an exasperated look on his face while holding his phone to his ear. We yell over to one another "You on with 911?" "They fighting about a job number too?" Meanwhile, if I turn to my left, I can see St. Vincent's Hospital six blocks to my north. This is ridiculous. The woman is now trying to shield her eyes from the glaring sun as her daughter-in-law is protecting her from the masses crawling by and applying the towel to the left side of her head.

Finally, 911 comes back on. "Is it a woman?" "YES" "How old is she?" "I don't know - old, elderly." "Ok, someone else is calling this in. Is it 7th Avenue SOUTH?" "Yeah, south. South 7th Ave. Corner of Barrow." "So you're at 7th Avenue South. Is that right?" "YES" "OK, We're sending an ambulance." "Thanks." Click.

Less than two minutes later, said ambulance sirens it's way in and the other 911caller good samaritans wave it to the proper corner. EMTs get out and attend to the woman. As they pull the stretcher out of the back of the ambulance, The Boyfriend and I meander on.

I hope the woman is OK, but for god's sake dear readers, if we've learned nothing from this episode, it's that dammit, know when your Avenue turns SOUTH.

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