Grateful for responders

Much has been written about the horrible, heinous crime against first responders and against all humanity in Dallas this week. I'm not going there. My story is little, but it brought it all home.

Saturday morning in my fog I headed to my Einstein Bros. Bagel shop. It's a hangout for long distance runners, but they let me come in anyway. Runners were chatting about the heat, and I was thinking, "Duh, running in this weather is pretty crazy. A person could have a heart attack."

After ordering my breakfast, I wandered over behind the coffee carafes to wait. That's when I heard the odd whining and gurgling. Must be that fancy doo-dad coffee machine... All of the customers were just trying to come up to the level of consciousness pre-caffeine.

That's when I saw the extremely fit gray-haired runner bending over and clutching his chest. The shop manager was dialing 911. My past first-aid training sessions did not kick me into action. I am embarrassed to say it crossed my mind that my bagel would burn if the paramedics came.

Instead, another gray-haired runner walked through the door, instantly assessed the situation, and performed the Heimlich maneuver several times, grabbing the man around the chest from behind and lifting him off the ground. That response dislodged the ice cube choking the man.

He gave a gasp, then thanked his rescuer in a low-key mano-a-mano manner. I wanted to apologize for not responding, but he was apologizing to patrons and employees for disrupting our morning.

I'm so grateful for the person with the training and instant ability to assess a situation and move to help. Thanks to the anonymous Bagel Ranger who saved the day!

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder

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