Where has the compassion gone?

Published 9:06 am Friday, July 27, 2012

To the Editor:

On July 5, I had a very scary experience. On my way to Windsor, something happened to my car and I ended up jumping out of it while it was on fire and rolling, with no brakes, toward a ditch.

I was very blessed to get out before the flames were too big and before it went off the road. I called 911. I realize that the fire department from Windsor is all volunteer, so the fact that it took quite some time to get to my location was not unexpected.

There were a few volunteers who arrived before an actual fire department vehicle and they asked if everyone was out of the car and if I was OK.

I stood there watching my car burn, worrying about the possibility of the grass and trees catching fire and wondering what I was going to do with the demise of my vehicle.

The temperature that day was in triple digits, with the heat index around 115 degrees.

The firefighters put out the flames and made sure there were no hot spots. The sheriff’s department was also on scene along with the fire chief.

Questions were asked and answered as I stood in the extreme heat. I was asked to stand by the front of the sheriff’s vehicle while he sat in his air-conditioned car filling out paperwork.

The lady who lived on that corner offered cold drinks and asked me to come in her house out of the heat, but I was not allowed to leave the sheriff’s sight. When it was pointed out that I was turning very red and getting overheated, the only response was that of the fire chief offering bottled water that was not cold.

I was very hot, very upset and none of the public servants offered me a seat in one of their vehicles to get out of the heat.

Whether they get paid or they are volunteers, shouldn’t the people charged with helping the public have some basic human compassion? I was upset, overheated, getting dehydrated and ended up with a bad sunburn.

Leaving me out in the extreme heat to suffer exhaustion, dehydration and sunburn was unnecessary and inhumane.

Have the men and women who are supposed to “protect and serve” lost all compassion for the people they are supposed to be helping?

I pray for their safety every time I see them or hear a siren, and I will continue to do so, but now I have to add to that prayer that God will soften their hearts when needed so that those who they are helping will not have to suffer like I did.

Thank God there was someone nearby that offered assistance. Maybe she should be in that position instead of the men who were supposed to be helping me.

Deanna Gossert