Library Happenings

Henning School

Thank you to every first responder for each part you play in the role of life.  

In a moment’s notice, life can change. We can go along as we do in our daily routine, not knowing what is coming our way. This column will talk about tragedy, but the takeaway should be about some of the people who come to us in our time of need.  

Emergency responders come in all shapes and sizes, they work in other community roles, and we may see them often outside of their emergency roles or we may never see them except in response to emergencies.  

Ten days ago I was working outside, thinking about packing my suitcase for the trip to my parents house the next day, when my mom called me out of the blue.  Well, I immediately answered it with a wary tone because she talks with me at the end of the day each day.  Her voice was a little too chipper.  She told me that maybe I would like to put off my trip for a few days and come the first part of the following week as she was going to have a surgery that I would want to be there for, to keep my dad company.

So that’s exactly what I did.  

After surgery, as my mom was in the recovery area, I went to the waiting room. There, I met some people that were sitting in the room, too. We talked to each other about why we were there.  My story about my mom was short.  Their story about their loved one was not. These adult children live out on the west coast, their parents had just been there spending a month with them and were driving back to Minnesota. What a small world we live in. 

They told me how their parents were traveling back on the interstate when one of their parents had a medical problem. They were 55 miles from the nearest hospital and 20 hours from home.  

When emergencies happen, we call 911. That is exactly what the spouse did. After the life flight helicopter came and took the patient away, the spouse was concerned about driving the pickup and camper back over the winding mountain roads to the hospital. The ambulance crew unhooked the camper and the spouse was able to leave it there and make their way to the hospital.  

The day after I had sat in the hospital waiting room talking to the children of these two travelers, I noticed the spouse was sitting in there all alone, so I went to check up on the status of their loved one.  The person spoke to me of how they looked up and there was a helicopter landing right by them and how the response crew were so personable and professional. Then the ambulance crew was beyond accommodating, comforting them, drawing them a map to the hospital with step by step instructions, and unhooking the camper for them.   

They may never know the name of those responders, but I can tell you first hand that they are thankful beyond measure. I do believe that this family will consider becoming volunteer responders of some kind themselves, whether now or through the grandchildren one day.  

I am grateful for first responders and the service they give to our communities all over this nation. Because of these local heroes we are adding new books about first responders from police, fire, rescue, ambulance, etc to our non fiction section in our library. We hope to inspire our youth to become responders when they grow up and in order to do that, we must first inform them of what responders are.

Henning Library is open on July 26 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with a special reading time from 10-11 a.m. We hope you will stop up and see us.  We are also open at the same time for the following three Wednesdays.