Thank You To The Belfast Firefighters Who Rescued Cori’s Kid
Take the kids to the playground, they said. It will be fun, they said.
This past Sunday I did just that, and let me tell you, it was no walk in the park.
It was all fun and games until someone got stuck...way high up...in a tree.
Let me set the scene for you.
It had been a particularly rough April vacation this year. My kids started the week off by attending their great-grandma's funeral. Then every plan for family fun that we had made, and were very much looking forward to, got tragically upended by a family emergency. So the kids have been doing their best to stay positive.
I thought it might be nice to try to reclaim some joy and end the week with an adventure, so I piled them all in the van, and we started for the Belfast Municipal Park, a place they really like to go.
Unfortunately, because I really have no sense of direction, a trip that should have taken us 45 minutes, became a 2-hour ordeal, but we were laughing and enjoying all of the accidental "Mom" detours...
Then, finally, we pulled into the park and the kids jumped out and ran off to the playground.
I had just received a call, as we arrived, so I waited behind for a minute to call the person back, from the safety of a stopped vehicle. I was on the phone, getting details about a different emergency situation that had taken place earlier in the weekend, when the kids ran past, asking to go down to the water's edge, by the big trees.
"Yes, you may, but stay out of the trees!" I shouted down at them as they headed in that direction.
The next thing I knew, I looked up and saw this scene.
Pay particular attention to the hot pink pants at the top of the tree. I finished my call and headed down that way, scolding the kids for completely ignoring my one request.
While the kids on the lower branches made their way out of the tree, my 9-year-old, who typically has no problem getting in and out of trees, called down that she was stuck.
"Oh great," I thought. "How am I going to get her down from there?"
I am intensely afraid of heights and knew if I went up, there would be two of us stuck up there.
So I sent her brother and a nearby friend up to help. Having difficulty finding a good path down themselves, they tried to guide my daughter down. But it became obvious, very quickly, from the multiple sets of shaky legs up in the tree, that this was becoming a dangerous situation that would require professional help.
Knowing full well we were about to become a spectacle...something we are unfortunately used to in my family, I made the call to the Waldo County Dispatch and asked for help.
They sent a team of Belfast Emergency Services responders, including ambulance personnel and firefighters to our aid.
As embarrassed as I was, I was so relieved when they showed up.
And without making me feel like a total bone-head (probably because they knew I was already mortified to have had to ask for help) they game-planned getting a big old ladder up the tree.
Once in place, Firefighter Riley Peterson quickly scaled the tree and very sweetly led my daughter to safety.
At one point, one of the other firefighters mentioned that these were the types of calls they liked to get...the ones with happy endings.
That comment was not lost on this mom.
As ridiculous as I felt, and as annoyed as I was with the situation, I was grateful that these fantastic men and women answered my call for help, as they do every time that alarm goes off and there's someone in need.
So my deepest thanks to all emergency responders for doing what they do, but especially to the folks in Belfast, for rescuing my kid.
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