Friday, June 30

Letter to 9-1-1 Recipients

Dear Residents of My Husband's Emergency District:

I'm the wife of Hero Guy, the nice man who comes to all your emergencies that you call in to the 911 system. I'm the one who holds down the fort while Hero Guy responds to all your calls for help. There are a few things I'd like to explain to you so that my life can be a little smoother while I lend my husband out to assist you in various ways.

First of all, Hero Guy has a full-time, paid job, that requires approximately 50-60 hours a week. It is not running on the ambulance or fire truck that pays the bills. He does that as a hobby, for free. When you call, Hero Guy drops what he does, whether it is conducting a meeting, having dinner with his family or even jumping in the shower to see what you need. He loves doing it, and I wholeheartedly support him. But you can imagine my chagrin when I learn that he had to stand me up on our monthly date night because you've had the sniffles for a week, and you'd rather hitch a ride in the ambulance to visit the ER than see your doctor during work hours. Worse is when during the flooding, like today, a couple of you Yahoos decided to go white water rafting in your canoe and you got swept away. Then the father of my kids had to put his life at risk to rescue your hide. That really burns me up. And Grandma Moses, I know you are so lonely since you are 87 and living alone. But I would much rather arrange for somebody to drop in and visit you during the daytime than for you to call 911 and fake having chest pains so that cute medic has to interrupt saying bedtime prayers with his little ones to come over and chat a while. While he is keeping you company, your neighbor may be having a real heart attack, and Hero Guy won't be able to save their life because he is curing your loneliness.

As for you teenagers who drive down my rural road going 85 in a 55 zone after partying, not only do you keep taking out my mailbox, but you put my kids at risk while they are playing in the front yard in which you crash. Besides that, you keep my husband up half the night cutting your car apart to get you out and then he gets to go to his real job the next morning. And none of the rest of the family can sleep, because my house is Grand Central Station for the emergency workers and police who are taking down your information and finding you are underage and shouldn't have been drinking anyway.

Don't get me wrong. There are lots of legitimate inconveniences I gladly put up with. I never complain when Hero Guy brings his bloodstained clothes home for me to wash, even though you could be infected with HIV or hepatitis. I do not begrudge his time away from us for a child who has been burned or a farmer who has had their tractor overturn on them. And I would never be upset when he has to stay out for days on end diving for people and their pets who have been flooded out of their homes. I'm just asking that you show some respect and courtesy and don't assume Hero Guy has nothing better to do. Or that you are doing him a favor by giving him an adrenaline rush by calling in for help when you don't really need it. It is a true sacrifice, not just for Hero Guy, but for his whole family- especially his kids- when he is taking care of you.

By all means, call if your smoke alarm goes off or if you are bleeding and shouldn't drive yourself to the hospital. But don't call for coughing that has lasted for a week or I might have to hurt you. And then, you can legitimately call for Hero Guy to bring you an ice pack to ease the throb on top of your head where I bopped you one.

Hero Guy's very patient wife

PS--The picture is of one of your accidents that occurred in my front yard this March. It took me half the day to clean up the mess in the front yard and my kitchen and living room where we took care of your bumps and bruises. I'm glad you weren't seriously hurt, but you were going way too fast for the snow conditions and my kids were out sledding in the front yard when you took out my mailbox and pine tree close to where they were playing. They are a bit upset that I won't let them sled there anymore, but that's okay because safety comes first.

12 of Your THINKS:

Anonymous said...

Jennifer - you should seriously send that in, just as it is written, to your local paper. It is perfect!!! And as always very well written.

Anonymous said...

Great writing!!!
That is a great letter!
TOO many people take risks and do NOT take in to account that the the "Heroes" saving them have families at home!
I know it is hard on you sometimes but WOW, he is a great guy, that John! Know that many of us are proud of him and feel safe knowing he will be there if we need him! He has a BIG heart!

Mary Ellen said...

That first comment was mine, I must have clicked on the wrong box.

Cathy said...

I'm here via Blogging Chicks.

Well written and a wonderful reminder that our everyday heroes put their lives on hold to help us.

Thank you for sharing this passionate letter!

Happy0303 said...

Wow . . . he really is a Hero Guy. I've always admired people who go out of their way to help others. Especially when they're not being compensated for it. You must be so proud of him!

Here via Blogging Chicks. Thanks for visitng The Pink Diary!

CyberCelt said...

In my town, they now charge people for the rescue efforts (and charge them with a crime as well) if, through ignoring posted warning or and in violation of common sense, they place emergency workers in danger.

if some yahoo tries to cross the low-water crossing and get swept away, they get saved, but they pay and pay. The idiots in the white water rafting would have fit into that category.

Probably cannot do too much about the underage drinkers, except stage a mock drunken death at the local school. Putting a totaled car up somewhere and a sign saying DRIVE DRUNK and DIE.

Polly said...

Great post and well written. We never think about the heroes that come to our rescue everyday. We take them for granted. Thanks for the reminder that there's a person behind the hero.

Malissa said...

Do you live in a small town?

Sounds like the preacher's family;)

I think you should send it to your paper too.
Visiting from the Blogging chicks

eph2810 said...

What a wonderful letter. Thank you so much for sharing JenLo.
It is amazing that your Hero Guy has a full time job AND works as a volunteer with the local fire department. My hat off to him and especially you and your kids who are making this sacrifice.
As you mentioned, I just wish that some people would be a lot more considerate when they call emergency, especially if it is not an emergency.
Again, thank you for sharing about the strong families behind all the heros out there...
I am here via BC carnival...
Have a blessed 4th of July.

Tess said...

i read this when you first posted it, not sure why I didn't comment? I'm sorry for lurking!

This is definitely local newspaper editorial material.

Tracey said...

Found you at Blogging Chicks.

I am the daughter of a military fireman (who became Fire Chief later on) and I can relate to your feelings on this. We saw him rarely and my strongest memories of my father are with him, radio in hand, dashing out the door. He's got some mighty awful stories.

I love how you call him Hero Guy. That is so apt a name for these people who do such necessary work.

I agree. Send this in to the newspaper. It's wonderful as written!

Jennifer said...

That is a wonderful reminder that the people who are "serving" us are real people with real lives. I'm sure that a "thank you" goes a long way, too, even if it is a legitimate call.