What It's Like To Be
What It's Like To Be

Public Service Part II

by Teresa Wegrzyn 5 days ago in career

This Happens Everyday to Someone

Public Service Part  II

While working as an EMT my partner and I were sent to a car rental place across from Newark Airport. This was the farthest part of our coverage area. When we got there we found a man who was 6'4" and a good 230 lbs. He was dangerously close to the highway at rush hour. We knew that there was no way were going to be able to handle this guy by ourselves so we tried to call for backup. The air traffic was really heavy, we didn't have repeaters on our radios so we kept getting stepped on when we tried to get help. We knew we had to get him away from the highway so we approached him slowly. I said, " Excuse me Sir you need to come away from there. You could get badly hurt and we might cause a car accident." Well, he didn't seem to like that idea so he started chasing me around the parking area. I managed to get around him a couple of times but honestly. I'm only 4'11' so one of his strides was at least six of mine. He cornered me against a wall, the parking lot was kind of shaped like a U." I was trying to duck under him but then he threw a punch at my head. I put my hand up to shield my face. My fingers were splayed open. He took the opportunity to grab my hand interlocking my his fingers into mine. He then yanked me up off the ground and immediately separating my right shoulder. He then extended his arm up as high as he could which left me dangling on my tip toes sort of twisting back and forth. It hurt like living hell but I didn't make a sound. I was afraid to scream out because I didn't know what he would do. He didn't speak to me, not once. It took a while for help to arrive so I stroked his stomach with my free hand telling him help was coming. My partner was great. He kept talking to me to keep me calm. We talked about the jackass who was taping this entire event instead of calling 911. We talked to his co-workers and asked them to call 911. I think they were all just to scared to move. They did however give us some further information which might have been useful before this started. They told us that his name was Windell, he worked there, but when he went on a break he went into the bathroom and came out with white powder on his face under his nose. We found out a couple of days later that he had snorted cocaine and Haldol , two drugs that can cause hallucinations, violence and other things. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream but I just couldn't. My partner, Bob , was awesome. He didn't want to leave me to get to our ambulance and kept trying and trying to get help on the air. When he finally did his focus was 100% on me. He even made me laugh a bit. He listened to me when I told him what I wanted done at my funeral. I told him that no one should bring red roses because my Mom hated them because Dad had given them to her during a tough time in their relationship. I also asked him to have someone play the song , " Lady" STYX version for her and the song " Wild Horses, for my sister Liz. I also asked that the song " The Flame" be played for my Dad even though he wouldn't be there. He had died in 1991 but I still wanted him to be at my funeral and this was the song he said reminded him of me. Bob just listened. He didn't try to tell me that I was going to be alright because we both knew that might not be the case. We both knew that at any moment he could snap my neck. I just kept stroking his stomach. That powder blue T-shirt will never leave my mind.

When help did come, approximately 20 minutes into this , he started dragging me toward the highway. I couldn't help it anymore. I was screaming. He was dragging me along the ground and it was brutal. We were eventually surrounded by police officers, EMT's and Paramedics from several agencies. My world turned into one big dream. I don't remember much after that accept is was like one of those , " dog pile on the wabbit" situations. One of our friends managed to kick him behind his leg causing us both to be on the ground. He landed on me which hurt, took my breath away. I remember one of the Police Officers who had been a Golden Gloves boxer punch him in the face several times. Windell just snorted at him and said, " is that all you got man? " but he wouldn't let go of me even though we were all on the hot asphalt I doubt he felt it. One of the Officers shouted, " everybody stand back. I'm going to shoot this Mudder Flocker. " I shouted, "No you are NOT!" There was no way in hell I was going to let this young man die for making a mistake. He was only in his early twenties but honestly. I would have never been able to forgive myself or get over the fact that someone died because of me. I have told this to many people many times and I was told that they would have let the cop shoot him or that they hoped he ended up in jail forever. I don't really believe that. I think they would have taken the time to really think about this kid and his family and they would have given him the chance to live a better life after this.

I don't have a clue what happened to him. You know what I've always wanted to know? I knew his name was Windell. I've always wanted to know if he learned from that mistake and that he healed. I wanted to know that he went on to have a happy life and to have success in business and that he had a family that he loved and who loved him. How could I possibly blame him and hate him for a mistake he made by experimenting with drugs. I don't ever really remember being mad, his mom came to see me in the ED and told me that she didn't raise her son to do things like this and she was crying. She was shooed away from me by my partner and a few others but I wanted her to know that I hoped everything was going to be alright. I have no idea if that message was passed on. I don't know anymore than what I've just said. Yes, I ended up with a separated shoulder which the ER doc popped in after a generous dose of Morphine, two fingers had fractures and my wrist was also broken and the crown jewel of all mental health issues. C-PTSD. I still have trouble leaving my house sometimes, although that has gotten better since I no longer have mind blowing migraines. I go out by myself more and I don't depend on my sister for everything like I had been . I still cry when someone knocks on my door even though I don't live in the same state where this occurred. I hide in the closet when the doorbell rings and thunder makes me shake and hide under the dogs and if I could I'd shove myself under the bed. I worked for seven years after that incident and I wouldn't have left at all if it hadn't come to a time when I simply couldn't make myself go to work, So what's the point of me telling you all of this. I want you to feel your feelings right now about this and think about what it means to you as a person and what it means to our country moving forward. There's no reason for anyone to ever die for one mistake and there certainly isn't any reason to blame Police, Fire or EMS for what's wrong with the country. I survived. I am doing my best to live my best life. I hope he is living his. I want everyone else to live theirs. Teresa.

career
Teresa Wegrzyn
Teresa Wegrzyn
Read next: Why Denny's Is the Perfect Starter Job for a Cook
Teresa Wegrzyn

Hello, I'm a former EMT for the City of Newark, NJ. I learned a lot and have stories for days.

I live in South Carolina with my sister and a whole bunch of cats and dogs.

I enjoy community service

See all posts by Teresa Wegrzyn