First responders have what it takes


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As a reporter/journalist, we often cover accidents and can't understand why 'first responders' don't let us up-and-close to an accident.

Yesterday, (Friday Aug. 10) being involved in an accident, I now know why.  These people are absolute professionals.

It started out as a simple road trip to pick up my grandson at Waterloo University.  Half-way there, in my first new car by the way [a 2012 Chevy Cruze], my son and I were stopped in Listowell in a line of traffic at a red light on the main street.

Suddenly, there was what seemed to be an explosion.  We were thrown forward and then suddenly backward as my vehicle was hit at full speed from behind and pushed into an SUV in front of us.  So, not only a rear collision but also a front one.  The driver at fault had, for whatever reason, rammed my car into the vehicle in front of us so that it was a double whammy ... a hit from behind and a sudden impact at the front.

Needless to say ... my new car is no more.

But, back to the first responders.  These people were amazing.  The OPP were there almost instantly along with the ambulance and volunteer firefighters.  They were in complete control, calm, sensitive to the situation and yet official.

Even in a state of shock (and not a little angry at the destruction of my brand new three week old vehicle), I could appreciate their efficiency.

In addition, I was totally amazed at the new technology 'on-star'.  I had always thought of it as 'big brother' riding with you but, I would have this big brother alongside any time.  Within 30 seconds of impact, on-star was talking to us, had called 911 and wanted to know if we were okay and if they could call anyone, family or friend.

Having purchased my vehicle from our local GM dealership, Bud Rier's in Paisley, all it took was a simple phone call by 'on-star' from my son and they had a loaner car waiting for us so that we could get back home to Southampton.

You never know what is going to happen but I can say ... thank heaven for seat belts or I would have gone through the windshield ... thank heaven for the new engineering and technology of today ... and most of all, thank heaven for first responders - they are fantastic.

My thanks go out to:

  • the ambulance attendants, especially Brenda Kneabel who held my hand

  • OPP Constable Dave Askett who was thoughtful, helpful and professional

  • the volunteer firefighters of Listowell who were there immediately

  • the Listowell hospital staff who were wonderful, efficient and caring

  • Bud Rier's for their immediate answer to the call of a needed vehicle

Sometimes it takes a bump along the road to make you appreciate just how lucky you are.

I had readers enquiring today why there was no 'new news' on the Saugeen Times today ...  well, now you know 'the rest of the story'.


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Saturday, August 11, 2012