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FICTION: Privatized ! Ed Volkstorf  

Posted by Scott Wilson

- Mommy! Mommy! Something’s wrong! Daddy just fell ! MOMMY!

- Sylvia sweetie! What ?! Oh John … What happened ? Can you talk ?

- Owww… my chest… side… fell…

-Mommy! What’s wrong with daddy ? What’s wrong ?

- Hold on Sylvia… I’m calling 911. We need to get daddy to the hospital.

- 9 1 1

- Hello and thank you for calling your new and improved county fire and rescue dispatch center. All calls are recorded for quality control and training purposes. We have several professional rescue organizations meeting the highest rescue standards ready to serve you. Please listen carefully as our menu options have recently changed. At any time you may press 9 to listen to this greeting and the menu options again. Press 1 or say “one” to select RRSI “Ready Rescue Services Incorporated.” RRSI dedicated professionals are on standby for immediate dispatch. RRSI prides itself on sub five minute response to all areas in the county. Press 2 or say “two” to select “QuickServe LLC.” QuickServe maintains the latest rescue and medical technology on all vehicles to insure the highest level of on-site support…

- 1

- Thank you for calling. An RRSI representative will be on the line with you in a moment… Hello. My name is Mark. Thank you for holding. How may I help you?

- Finally! My husband has fallen. He can’t move. We need to get him to the hospital.

- Certainly mam. I have your address as 422 Apple Lane. Is that correct ?

- Yes !

- Okay. We can have a rescue vehicle there in a moment, but first I need a credit or debit card number. Do you have that card number handy ?

- Credit card number ?

- Yes mam. To better support the county dispatch center we require a small fee before sending anyone out. Now if you’ll just give me that number please.

- A card number ? but this is a community service. We pay our taxes. My husband might be dying on the floor and you’re asking me for a credit card !?

- Yes mam. The county outsourced the call center as a cost savings. I understand your concern. We can have an RRSI vehicle there in a few moments. Now do you have that card number ?

- CLICK

- Mommy! When is the ambulance coming ?

- Just a moment sweetie. I’m going to call the police instead.

- # 5 1 1

- This is your county police dispatch desk. Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed. All calls are recorded for quality and training purposes. To speak to . . .

- 0 0 0 0

- This is the operator Sergeant Holly speaking. How may I help you?

- My husband… he’s fallen. I think he may have had a heart attack. Can you please send someone here to help us?

- Yes mam. I can send a squad car, but have you called 9 1 1 yet ?

- Yes but they wanted a credit card number before anyone would come here. Can you send someone here to help me take my husband to the hospital ?

- I’m checking mam. Looks like both of the vehicles I have out on patrol this evening are presently engaged. Let’s see ... I have an ETA of approximately 2 hours for your home. However for a small fee I can report this to the on-call patrol man and he will be with you right away. We take most credit or debit cards. Do you have a card number handy ?

- What ! I need to give you my credit card to get the police !?

- Well no mam. Like I said, the regular staff will be there shortly, but with the recent cutbacks in patrol coverage we only have two patrol cars in service during the evenings. One of them will be there in about 2 hours. If you have that credit card number handy I can get started and send the on-call car your way.

- CLICK

- Mommy, are the police coming now ? Will there be a siren ?

- No sweetie ... we are going to have to take your dad to the hospital ourselves.

- Milly. What’s wrong with John ? I saw the porch light on… you and Sylvia in the door. What’s going on?

- Oh Tom ! I think John has had a heart attack. I called for help but couldn’t get anywhere without a credit card. All my cards are maxed out.

- Well Millie I can drive up here by the door and we can lie John down in the back.

- John can you hear me ? Can you set up ? Tom and I are going to lift and put you in the back of his wagon. You’ll be at the hospital in a minute.

- Okay Milly. I’ve got this side now you grab under the other am. On a count of 3 lift: 1, 2, 3. Okay. Just lie down John. We’ll have you there in a flash.

- Tom! You’re a life-saver. I don't think Sylvia and I could have gotten him in our car by ourselves. Sylvia you sit up front with Mr. Miller.

- What are neighbors for Milly? Sylvia everything is okay now. Your dad will be at the hospital in a couple of minutes. Uhh… oh… Milly I hate to ask this but do you have $20 or so handy ? Ever since gas shot past $8 a gallon I don’t keep the tank filled up any more. Maybe just $10? That should be enough to get us there.

- Mommy !

This entry was posted on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 7:58 PM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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