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“Instant responders”

Friday, Jul 25, 2014

* Phil Bradley

Instant Responders

Driving up to Chicago we were the car behind the semi which slammed into a line of stopped cars, killing four people, including a young girl, and injured others. Had we been in front of him rather than behind, i am sure we would be dead.

This leaves images that are hard to shake. Thankfully, first responders arrived in droves, ambulances, seven fire engines, a dozen police cars and two Med-evac heliocopters.

But before all that, another image that, happily, stays as well.

After the crash there was a moment of total stillness and silence.

And then it happened. Suddenly there were guys running to the wreckage. The doors on truck cabs opened and guys jumped down and ran to the wreck. Guys got out of their cars and ran toward the diaster. Guys even stopped on the other side of the highway, climbed the divider fence and ran.

They all ran toward a tangle of cars that might explode and burn, and that was certain to be an horrific thing to see close up.

But all those wonderful guys just ran to it, to see if they could help, because it was the right, human thing to do.

When Sylvia’s Jeep flipped on 55 years ago, the same thing happened. Truckers rushed up and freed them from the vehicle long before anyone else arrived at the scene.

They are everywhere. Guys who take care of their neighbors because it is right. Guys whose first impulse is help because they see a need. The Instant Responders. God Bless them!

- Posted by Rich Miller        


18 Comments
  1. - Aldyth - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    We are surrounded by heroes who have no idea that’s what they are until they step up when a hero is needed.

    This is an inspiring and totally awesome post. Excellent choice for ending a difficult week when there is tragedy and violence all over the world.


  2. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:40 am:

    Taking care of our fellow human being is the right and human thing to do. Amen.


  3. - East Central Illinois - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    Amen. Thank you Rich for posting this during this week when it seems like it can go wrong, it will go wrong.
    There is decency, human kindness, and compassion in this world.


  4. - William j Kelly - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    God bless our first responders! Too bad Illinois politicians like bill Brady continue to put them and the rest of us in danger. http://youtu.be/TBdBrDF-qhE


  5. - Katiedid - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    I can’t access Facebook at work, so I don’t know if there’s more to his statement than the inspiring words posted here. This is especially timely in light of the heroic Arlington Heights woman who made the ultimate sacrifice in saving three drowning boys just this week.

    Wonderful to see recognition of the heroism that is carried out by the “average Joe/Judy” every day!


  6. - Wensicia - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    The Arlington Heights woman’s name was Karen Wessel.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/arlington-heights/chi-arlington-heights-woman-drowns-in-wisconsin-saving-3-boys-20140724,0,444170.story


  7. - Amalia - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    wonderful post about awesome heroes.


  8. - Katiedid - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    Wensicia - thank you!


  9. - Anon - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    === Taking care of our fellow human being is the right and human thing to do. Amen. ===

    Even if they are child refugees from Honduras.


  10. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    inherent in most people is goodness….by design, not coincidence. Bless them all.


  11. - Knome Sane - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    Phil Bradley: HERE! HERE!


  12. - William j Kelly - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    Anon, was was your reference to Honduras meant to call attention to the driver, Francisco espinal quiroz, who is alleged to have caused the crash? http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/544/article/p2p-80871814/


  13. - liandro - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    Every serious incident I’ve ever seen has had the same. It is easy to be positive about the human spirit when you see how selfless whole groups of people can be in those moments, awful as they are. God bless those men and women.


  14. - Mason born - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Boy i’d sure be nice to be reminded of how average citizens step up to assist others at the risk of their own lives without someone tossing politics into the mess.

    Thanks for posting Rich.


  15. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    excellent post.

    This is one of my pet peeves in movies. they always depict people coming apart and treating the event as everyone for themself. However in real disasters people tend to act the opposite. Just once I would like holywood to depicet that :)


  16. - dupage dan - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    I happened to witness an accident over 20 years ago. Driving on I88 eastbound, my wife and I saw a car driving the same direction in the opposing lanes. At the moment I saw his taillights, he hit a bridge divider (raw, square end) and flipped end over end, landing facing west with his car destroyed. We folks who witnessed the incident quickly made their way to the car. We could not get the driver side door open so went around to the passenger side. When folks started to work on removing the man from the car, I urged them not to - there was no danger of the car catching fire - no smoke or flames. Removing him from the car could well have exacerbated possible injuries (neck, back, etc). The man was unconscious but breathing normally. I saw no severe bleeding. When the ambulance arrived, I left the scene.

    Untrained responders have saved folks lives. We just need to be a little careful to avoid doing more harm than good.


  17. - Stones - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    About 30 years ago we witnessed a boating accident that resulted in a drowning. Two boats collided and a man was knocked out of the boat he was riding in and went under. Several boats in the area heard the accident and we all made our way to the scene as fast as we could. I’ll never forget the image of everyone diving into the lake (including the victim’s son) frantically searching for the man. Probably the saddest thing I have ever witnessed.


  18. - Befuddled - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    People are predominantly good, especially in times of crisis. A good fact to be reminded of from time to time.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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