Power Outage

Several hours earlier a car wiped out a telephone pole, bisecting it, and blowing out the powerlines exploding transformers all the way down the street, leaving half the town without power.

It is still dark when we get called for a lift assist. An old man in a wheelchair meets us at the door with a powerful flashlight in his hand. “She’s in here,” he says, turning and wheeling into the living room as we follow. There in the dark with just the flashlight now shinning on her face, we see an elderly woman in a big lounge chair with her feet elevated. “I’m stuck,” she says. She holds the motorized switch and show us nothing happens when she pushes it. “The electricity is out.”

“She needs help getting out. I can’t help her,” the man in the wheelchair says.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” the woman adds. “I can’t wait any longer.”

We lift her out, and get her standing up against her walker. “Excuse me,” she says, making a slow but direct line for the bathroom.

You think about all the people stranded in elevators when the power goes out, but you never think about all the old people stuck with their feet up in their electric lounge chairs.

When she comes back from the bathroom, we help her get set in a smaller chair.

“My heroes,” she says. “Thank you, gentlemen.”


  • Cole says:

    You are my hero! Your book, bought for me as a gift, was so enthralling i decided to become an emt and i’m still loving the job six years later. I have a million things I’d like to say to you that would totally bore anyone reading your comments and i can’t find a contact address on your blog so i would really appreciate it if you could e-mail me. Thanks :o)

  • M C says:

    My wife’s electric lift chair is on a UPS. $50 from a computer store. We verified that it works. Our CPAP machines are also on a UPS.

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