When Seconds Count: Getting Emergency Assistance to Your Rural Home

In an emergency, when seconds count, you want to make sure you've done everything you can to help emergency assistance crews find you.

| December/January 1998

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    Emergency assistance crews searching for your home will appreciate an effort like when seconds counts.
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    Point your car or vehicle's headlights down your driveway in the direction you need the ambulance to go.

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We country folks know an emergency always happens at the worst time, generally disrupting our plans. But we're capable, independent, and self-reliant. It's our lifestyle: we deal with it. The calf gets scours, we cure it. The pump quits, we fix it. The tractor loses a wheel, we replace it. We know what to do.

We don't call for outside help unless it's unavoidable. Maybe that's why, when seconds count and we need emergency assistance, we're woefully unprepared to get it. I know how disastrous that can be.

A sound woke me shortly after I'd fallen asleep on Good Friday eve, 1987. Beside me, my husband moaned, "Oh, my jaw's hurting."

I turned on the light and looked at him. "Are you all right?"

"Something's hurting my chest," he said, "and my arm..."

Labored breathing choked off his words. His face was ashen; sweat beaded it. Suddenly, my heartbeat thundered into my ears as I thought, "Heart attack!"

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