Monday, 4 February 2008

Alarms and Human Responses

I went out to a local pub for lunch today; I go there on an irregularly regular basis with various different friends.  And for once in my life I was actually the first person to get there (I know! don't faint).

I started pushing a chair away from the table using my feet and the woman who runs it came over to help me and she moved it well away rather than my just moving so i could get there and abandoning it.  She made a comment about them having different size/shape/design tables and that some were better for wheelchairs than others they had found.  I thanked her and said that we like the circular ones for just that reason.  And I asked her if I could ask a really random question.

She looked bemused but said yes.  So I asked if they had an alarm cord in their disabled loo (I knew they did but wanted to know if they were aware they did). She said yes they did and I went on to ask would you know what it sounded like if it went off and if she wasn't there would her staff know and know to respond?  She did and she thought her staff would.  She also knew it should never be tied up off the floor or any such thing.  and she asked why I wanted to know?

I told her about what happened yesterday.  She was shocked.

Elisa came in and we got to chatting, ordered our lunch etc.

A bit later the owner of the pub came back.  She'd been to the disabled loo to check the alarm system.

And she discovered that the alarm system was place.  but that the cord had been CUT OFF right up on the ceiling.   So it could never be used.

She thanked me for asking the question.  And she swore blind that when her husband returned from the golf course he'd be sent off to get a replacement cord and to fit it today.

I'm going to write to Waterloo and complain about what happened to that poor man who I hope is OK now or at least safe and recovering.   And I think I'm going to write to a few other local places to.  just to check.  Start a little awareness campaign on the issue.

Finding him lying there and hearing him beg for help was really one of the scariest experiences of my life.   I can't however get the thought out of my mind that it could have been much worse.  I could have found him and found him unconscious.  Or he could have been left there so long that when I found him, he had died.  or i could have decided not to bother with the loo and never found him.

So I'm thankful for just "scary" and "shocking" and not worse.

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