Still Looking to Trade


The elderly woman was crossing the street, heading west on Ninth, when an SUV, driving east, turned south on Sutro Street. I couldn’t believe what I saw next: the woman disappeared from the cross walk and reappeared as a rag-doll under the vehicle.

The traffic light was still red and I decided to run it, in order to get to the traffic accident jus’ across the intersection. I pulled my car ahead of the scene, got out and ran back to the stopped SUV.

A quick look under the vehicle told me all I needed to know about the condition of the woman beneath it. She was alive, bleeding with several broken bones, and her sweater was tangled in the undercarriage and she was quickly choking to death.

As fast as possible, I climbed underneath the SUV and lifted her up off the cold asphalt with the hope of easing her breathing difficulty. It didn’t work as she continued to gurgle and wheeze.

My next thought was to get out my pocketknife and cut the sweater away from the vehicle. The Reno Fire Department arrived at the accident scene jus’ as I freed her.

“We have two victims,” I heard one of the rescuers call out.

I hollered back, “No, I’m not a victim — I’m an EMT.”

The firefighters rolled the vehicle forward and started to work on the injured woman. Within a couple of minutes they had her on a back-board, and neck-collar on her and were transferring her to the awaiting ambulance.

The paramedics took over and raced her to the local hospital, where she was admitted in critical condition. I filled out a report for the Reno Police and was interviewed by a reporter with KTVN news.

Later I was given a Life Saving award from the American Red Cross for risking my well-being to help the woman. unfortunately, the woman died a short time thereafter, leaving my euphoric feeling of doing the right thing in the dust.

I would gladly trade that award away if it would have kept her alive for another few years.

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