One thing is certain. Interact with enough people and you’re bound to see some funny things. Emergency calls are no exception.
Year after year. Run after run. With the volume of calls Detroit Fire handles, most don’t stand out. When an investigator asks about a fire from a few weeks ago, you have a hard time remembering which fire he’s referring to. But the funny calls. . . they stick with you forever.
Several years ago, I was detailed to Squad 1 for the day. We were running errands when we were dispatched to a still alarm. No information was given about the nature of the emergency. When we arrived, we were greeted by a young boy standing at the curb yelling enthusiastically, “There’s no fire! Mom’s hand is stuck in the toilet!”
Dad had used the facilities and when he flushed, it plugged. Mom was sure one of the kids had put a toy down it. She plunged her hand into the dirty water to retrieve the toy. When she couldn’t find it, she plunged deeper. Her hand went around the bend in the plumbing and she was stuck.
We began disassembling the toilet and repeatedly had to ask the woman to get off her cell phone. She was missing “Friday Night Smack Down” and kept calling a friend to get play by play action.
Before removing the bowl portion from the floor we handed the woman a trash can and plastic cup. We asked her to scoop as much water as possible out of the bowl so it didn’t spill out onto the floor. She pushed the trash can away, reached up with her free hand, and opened the bathroom window. She then proceeded to throw the foul water, floaters and all, into the back yard.
Eventually the toilet was disassembled and she was freed. As we gathered our tools to leave I noticed a toddler, sound asleep, under the dining room table. She had slept through the whole ordeal. It left me wondering if chaos was a daily occurrence for this family.
Be talking to you soon.
Sheryl Jayson(a.k.a. Sheryl Fox)
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