Imagine you’re on vacation, sound asleep in your crisp white sheeted bed in a luxury hotel. Then, while you’re dreaming of never going back to work, you are awakened by a revving chainsaw at 3 AM. Then you hear the blades ripping through a door and a woman screaming. Scary? No, all in a days work.
A local hotel reports a woman has fallen in her room.
Escorted up and into the quiet hallways we’re met at the door by a clearly tired middle aged man and his teenage children. They explain that their mother has not been feeling well and has possibly fallen in the bathroom.
We make verbal contact and she is alert and uninjured as far as we can understand, but she tells us her back is in so much pain she can not move. As we begin to open the bathroom door she screams in pain and begs us to stop moving the door.
We take a step back and rethink the situation. The door opens inward and we have no access to the pins and there is no other access to the room.
Then one of the firefighters gets a smile on his face. Not a word passes between us as I smile back. The boss asks what we have in mind and I tell him.
“We’re going to chainsaw the top half of the door and climb in to extricate.”
The hotel manager turned the same color white as the walls.
“You can’t damage our property like that.” he whispers, confused.
“You called us, my guys will do whatever they need to do.” the boss shoots back.
The saw is upstairs after a few minutes and we tell the patient what she is going to hear and feel. We’re cutting the door just above the middle hinge so we can open the top without anything falling on her.
“NOOOO!” she is screaming, “Just let me lay here!”
We tell her if she can simply move a bit we could figure out how to get in, otherwise our solution.
The boss made the decision for her. “We’re coming in!”
The look on the manager’s face will never leave my mind. His jaw slacked as the firefighter began to throttle up and make the cut. It was a hollow core door, but made a big mess. Less than 30 seconds of cutting yielded a space just big enough for me to climb in and into the bathroom.
Our patient was screaming that she’ll move now and we smiled. Now she can move. We got her out and off to a physician for a checkup. No drama there and no injuries, just an old back injury kicking in while she was resting in the john.
After we got off shift I decided to return to the scene of the crime and see if we could get the door. It now hangs in the firehouse with our autographs on it and a brief description of the incident.