My husband has told all of our family members countless times, “Be aware of your surroundings.” It is invaluable advice.
For many the idea of personal safety seems part of the city experience. Watch out for muggers, car jackers and other drivers. We’ve all received emails with safety warnings. One tells us not to park next to a van as there could be people inside the van, lying in wait to kidnap you. I suppose the next time I get such an email it will add SUVs and four-door pickups to the list of vehicles beside which you should not park. In some places you’d be hard pressed to ever locate a parking place with all of these restrictions in the back of your mind.
But danger lurks in the country as well as the city. Safety is closely related to common sense, though we all, from time to time, do not use that sense. Frequently the result is disaster and heartbreak.
Several years ago, before cell phones were the norm, two brothers and the 3-year old son of one of the men were ice fishing on a small pond not far from our farm. It was May and though the ice appeared adequately frozen, the day was fairly warm and the sunshine beat hard on the ice. The men tested the strength of the ice and deemed it fine when they began their day early. They wore overshoes and were so engrossed in having a fun day with family that they didn’t notice the ice was melting.
All of a sudden, the ice gave way. The uncle and the little boy went into the cold water. The father ran to find a phone and call for help. The local volunteer fire department whose members are first responders went to assist. After seeing the problem, they gathered long ladders from a neighboring farm. The ladders were laid on the ice so the weight was more evenly distributed as the men crawled out to rescue the victims.
When the little boy was extricated, CPR was begun. EMTs took over upon their arrival and CPR continued in the ambulance and at the hospital. The local hospital called Children’s Hospital in Denver for advice and they said to keep it up; the week before Children’s Hospital had a similar incident and the boy had been discharged from the hospital, walking under his own power, just two days earlier. That encouraged the caregivers.
It was not to be for this little one. A medical airplane was dispatched and after he was loaded but before take off, after the long and gallant efforts, the little boy perished. The father lived, his brother and his son died. What a sad day for several emergency personnel and the lives of the victims’ families.
Accidents happen yet some may be averted when we pay extra attention to our surroundings. Please be careful as you go about your daily lives. We’d rather write to you than about you. ❖
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