Recently, a 78 year-old man was the victim of a hit-and-run in Hartford, CT. This made big news but not for the reasons you think. No one stopped to help him. People just kind of stood there watching or slowed their vehicles and then sped away. I asked myself what I would do in this situation. Would I just stand there in shock or call 911 or run out in traffic to help? I guess none of us really know how we will react in a situation until we are in it. But will we be prepared, that is the big question.
I like to think of myself as a fairly calm and rational person. One who can think clearly when the 'ol adrenaline is pumping but who knows, each situation is different with many angles and points of view. I have seen accidents happen right in front of my eyes and come across several driving. I've always called 911 or stopped to offer assistance if I was able. But I have never been in a position where it was just myself and someone who was really hurt and needed serious lifesaving attention.
An incident that happened at the Cracker Barrel we were eating at yesterday really got me thinking though. Most Cracker Barrels are set up with the same basic floor plan. You go in through the store then there are two large, separated dining rooms that are open to traffic (the people kind) on the ends. Well, we were sitting along the wall closest to the store and looking over our menu and talking about our recent visit to the Magic House when a woman started screaming. She was all of the way across the building along the wall of the other dining room. I had noticed the couple earlier, just because they were both eating with their sunglasses on and I thought it was odd. (hmmm) Well, I guess it took the 2nd or 3rd scream before it registered that something was wrong. It was relatively loud in there and I was in the middle of trying to understand what Gwen was saying (I need a lot of concentration to decode sometimes). But, once it registered I found the source and got up and started moving towards the couple...there just so happened to be 10 people already in front of me though. So I guess I just kind of watched and made sure that all points were be covered: someone calling 911, someone tending to the people, and someone getting the manager. At first I thought that the guy had choked and needed the Heimlich. I don't really know what I would have done if we were seated next to those people. Would I have known what to do? Later, we found out from our waitress that he had a seizure. Definitely wouldn't have known what to do for that. Maybe that should be one of those things everyone must learn, like changing a tire or balancing your checkbook. Basic emergency care. You can't always count on the cars to stop or for people to call.