What Emergencies Have you Faced In Your Life?

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    Apr 11, 2011 11:49 PM GMT
    This was prompted by another thread about thunderstorms, and severe weather, that made me think about emergencies I have faced, many of them fires:

    - Earthquake, when both my very young sons were paralyzed in confusion in the house. I got them outside, and away from very tall pine trees on the property I thought might topple. The house was permanently damaged and we moved out shortly afterwards.

    - Fire in my youngest son's bedroom, when he kicked his blanket off the bed and it fell across a night light, igniting the fabric. I was surprised he was immobilized with fear and couldn't respond, I think why little kids die in these incidents. I got everyone outside, and then extinguished the fire myself without need for the fire department.

    - My Army motor pool building caught fire in 1971 while civilian contractors were painting it. Already engulfed in flames, I rushed back inside to retrieve one of my tracked vehicles. With the flaming roof literally crashing down around me I backed it out and got it away in the nick of time.

    Then I ordered soldiers to jump into my heavy trucks, parked in a row along a chain link fence next to the building. Their steering wheels were chain-locked, the keys inside my office already in flames, so that they couldn't be steered. "Back them straight over the fence!" I yelled. (Tactical vehicles have no ignition keys, why we chain-locked their steering wheels)

    They hesitated at first, until they saw I was serious, a direct command. Better a stupid fence than expensive cargo trucks. They flattened the fence and got the trucks away from the building just as it exploded, that end housing the welding shop, with acetylene & oxygen tanks. It was really a Hollywood movie moment.

    - I was driving my military Jeep and saw a stopped tracked vehicle along the side of the road, with smoke coming out of it. Not one of mine, but I felt compelled to check. I stepped up onto the tracks and opened the deck, and saw the engine compartment was on fire. I told the driver to deploy the fixed fire extinguisher (an internal system) but it failed to work.

    I then ordered the crew out, but the driver wouldn't obey me. I stepped over to his hatch and literally hauled him out by his collar. A moment later the track exploded and was destroyed. I had saved their lives. Never got a medal for it, nor for the motor pool fire, not any recognition at all. That's often how it went in the Army.

    - I revived my Father from a heart attack twice, each one several weeks apart. He remained mostly conscious, and afterwards he said to me: "Bob, you were so calm! And knew exactly what to do! I didn't know you could do that!" "Well, Dad, I was an Army Colonel, you know. That was our job." And I stepped outside his bedroom and just cried & cried, one of the few times in my life (then 47) my Father had ever complimented or thanked me.

    I am like ice in an emergency. What have you faced, and how has it gone?
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Apr 12, 2011 12:18 AM GMT
    Fire, flood, hurricane, and earthquake.
    Fire was the only one that won.
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    Apr 12, 2011 12:22 AM GMT
    I worked at two psychiatric hospitals.....

    ..... I can't even begin to describe....
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 12, 2011 12:25 AM GMT
    I've run out of postage stamps....on several occasions
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    Apr 12, 2011 12:31 AM GMT
    ZbmwM5 saidI worked at two psychiatric hospitals.....

    ..... I can't even begin to describe....


    Oof. My former manager decided to "retire" as a hospital psychiatrist after he was attacked with a ballpoint pen. He's happier/safer as a bookstore manager these days.

    As for me, I was close to a tornado, a number of hurricanes, one wildfire. We were in the main path of the flames, but the wind changed direction. Ah, Florida.
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    Apr 12, 2011 12:32 AM GMT
    Witnessed the Gulf War through my bedroom window… Now Kuwait is the place to be!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 12, 2011 12:33 AM GMT
    Witnessed the Gulf War through my bedroom window… Now Kuwait is the place to be!
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    Apr 12, 2011 12:35 AM GMT
    Imagine flying a glider.
    Now imagine it was not a glider when you took off.

    Imagine driving down the road when the cabin of your vehicle fills with smoke.
    Now imagine the vehicle you're driving has wings, and you're not really on the road...you're 1000' above it.

    Imagine teaching newbies how to fly.
    Nuff said...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 12, 2011 12:37 AM GMT
    testicular torsion when i was 13
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 12, 2011 12:39 AM GMT
    several car accidents, and a deadly blizzard that paralysed Emergency Services. Also several tornadoes, been chased by one in my truck but got away. very scary.
  • JerseyBlues

    Posts: 111

    Apr 12, 2011 12:45 AM GMT
    My childhood friend's mom (they lived across the street from us) was very ill with cancer. One day when we were 16, he and is sister were out and about and their mom tried to commit suicide while they were away. She was in so much pain and suffered for years and just wanted to end the pain. I was home with my dad when my friend's sister came running across the street screaming that she found her mom unconscious in her bed.

    We got my dad who was mowing the backyard. He told me to call 911 as he ran across the street. I literally stood there frozen and panicked and could not remember the numbers 9-1-1 to call. Luckily our phone had a hot pink sticker on it with the number of the local first aid squad...I called and told them what was going on and luckily one of the other neighbors had already called 911. Their mom ended up surviving and died peacefully a few months later.

    Years later while living Georgia, we had a week where tornadoes were touching down almost every night. One night it got very close to my house...and yet I somehow slept through the sirens and tornadoes. Didn't know anything happened until the next morning when I saw all of the damage about 3 miles from my house. It's quite scary what Mother Nature can do.
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    Apr 12, 2011 12:46 AM GMT
    I'd say the worst emergency type situation was when I was driving home at night in my 4x4 Subaru Justy, way the hell out in the boonies, and a deer slammed into a rear quarter panel. The car went into the ditch and flipped end over end, landing right side up in a bean field. I crawled out the passenger door, collected various broken parts, found the field access, got back in the car, started it up, pushed the 4WD button, and drove home. There was no part of the car that wasn't smashed in, but I had it repaired and painted metallic purple instead of the red it had been. That was a great little car.
  • mizu5

    Posts: 2599

    Apr 12, 2011 12:48 AM GMT
    typhoons, earthquakkes, being attacked in an alley after a rave, and a gunfight. D:
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    Apr 12, 2011 12:51 AM GMT
    I spent over one month in the hospital and almost died.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Apr 12, 2011 12:52 AM GMT
    I've survived the direct impact of a category 4 hurricane... (just recently downgraded from category 5). I've been in other emergencies but that was arguably the most 'life-threatening' event I've been in.
  • Sparkycat

    Posts: 1064

    Apr 12, 2011 2:13 AM GMT
    One time I wore white shoes after labor day. I was almost killed by the enraged mob.
  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Apr 12, 2011 2:18 AM GMT
    Second world war
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    Apr 12, 2011 3:04 AM GMT
    Age 7: A very serious car accident that I don't remember much of, except being hospitalized.

    11: Cat 3 hurricane

    16: Cat 2 hurricane

    17: Cat 2 hurricane
    Flooding that trapped us in our house for 3 days (not related)

    19: A gunfight in Panama City, Panama because we were filming an impoverished neighborhood and accidentally caught a drug deal

    20: Kidnapped by a taxi driver in Morocco

    21: hit by cabbie on my bike, otherwise uneventful
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    Apr 12, 2011 3:11 AM GMT
    The usual array of traffic accidents, industrial accidents, weather events, fires, medical emergencies. Sometimes I think I'm running an ambulance service around here. And we spend a fairly large amount of effort preparing for wildfires.

    There was one sort of unusual incident that I hadn't thought about in years. When I was 17 or so, I was riding on an airplane headed for Costa Rica on an exchange trip. Apparently, we got in the way of the marines raid that Jimmy Carter sent to rescue the dictator Somoza from the Nicaraguan revolution. Our pilot made an emergency landing in El Salvador, which was not very friendly towards us at the time. Of course, I was just a passenger, so there was nothing for me to "do." We spent a night under guard in a surreal luxury hotel with bullet marks around the entrance. Anyway, they probably wouldn't have really shot us down. Probably.
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    Apr 12, 2011 3:24 AM GMT
    1979 - Three Mile Island (Middletown/Harrisburg, PA) evacuation

    1992 - Hurrican Andrew (Florida)

    Last week
    Tuesday, April 5, 2011- I suffered a stroke after a series of undiagnosed pulmonary embolisms occurring over the past few weeks.

    I've survived and am one of the luckiest people on the planet right now.
    Several clots were hidden in my lungs for the past few weeks, and I was scheduled to be on a plane last Thursday...were it not for the stroke, which I survived on Tuesday, I'd be on the plane and poof. I'm still trying to make sense of all of this.

    Cause - genetic defect, they found, which causes blood clots, even in an otherwise healthy body. Because I played sports and am in shape is how I am alive today and doing OK, all things considered.

    I am writing this and sharing with folks tonight because it helps me to recognize what I went through. I'm having a slightly difficult time processing this good fortune. Meanwhile, I am also very lucky and fortunate that I have close family and friends helping me and looking out for me.
  • alphatop

    Posts: 1955

    Apr 12, 2011 4:59 AM GMT
    Three civil wars ( Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo ), NATO bombing Serbia since March to June 1999, living under embargo for a decade...Those were major disasters. On a personal level, watching a friend overdose, surviving car crash, major suicidal depression. That's about it.
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    Apr 12, 2011 5:15 AM GMT
    Suicide attempts by a sibling. I have this fucked up memory once when my dad was coming back from my sister having her stomach pumped from a suicide OD attempt she was like "sorry we're late, we stopped by to get some tacos on the way home".
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    Apr 12, 2011 5:35 AM GMT
    Three years ago, I got out of my car in my driveway and walked to my front door when the huge (and apparently rotten) tree in our front yard came crashing down right onto my car, smashing out the windows and the frame, flattening two tires and shooting glass out in all directions.

    I don't know if that qualifies as an emergency for anyone but me, but I had just been in that car not ten seconds before. That was the closest I've ever come to dying outright.

    Things can happen at any time and now I always tell people to get things in order in case they do. You don't know when a big ass tree is going to fall on your head and squish you.

    I'm not so comfortable around big trees now. I like big, open fields.




  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 12, 2011 9:02 AM GMT
    Surviving life.

    And every audition I go on.
  • JMex3

    Posts: 96

    Apr 12, 2011 2:13 PM GMT
    - Being held up at gunpoint
    - Attempted kidnapping
    - Aunt go shot in the head by a stray bullet in Mexico City
    - Dad went missing
    - Bunch of earthquakes