Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Thank you email from 311

Every so often (and on a pretty regular basis actually) we get emails about what a good job some City staff person has done. Frequently these are about our police or fire department.

This compliment was emailed into 311 and it was such a touchy and dramtic storyI wanted to share it with you.

My name is Sally Smith and I wanted to take the time to let you know of
my gratitude towards the firemen of station #2, and Raul Ramos of station

Some men from Station #2 were grocery shopping on Memorial day when my
daughter Madeline, she’s 2, and I were shopping at Rainbow Foods at The
Quarry. Although she’s had probably HUNDREDS of grapes, she was munching
on some in the cart when I was pushing her around the store, and she
started to choke on one. I did all that I remembered from my
lifeguarding days 20 years ago to get that grape out, but no go. I turned
and basically threw Maddy into the arms of a fireman who was shopping in
our aisle I later found out this was Raul Ramos from station 11 who was
working for someone from station 2. He tried everything to no avail, that
grape was stuck. But because he and the others were there, he hit some
call button on his hip and about 12 firemen came running to our spot.

Some others tried the Heimlich, etc. I think one persons name was Matt May
nothing was helping. She was turning blue and losing consciousness.
Thankfully because the firemen were there, 911 was called pretty
immediately when it first happened, so an HCMC ambulance was there within
minutes. Of course to me this all seemed to take hours, but I guess it
was less than 5 minutes! But at the end, we were up and running to the
ambulance, Maddy in the arms of a lifelink ambulance crew that ALSO
happened to be shopping in the store.

By the grace of God the paramedic was able to pull that grape out with one
pull with the McGill forceps which I will never forget the name of!.
Maddy coughed, then cried….it was the best sound I have ever heard.

I have since talked to Raul and someone named John from station #2 and
thanked them, but I thought someone higher up should know of our
gratitude. We spent the night in HCMC since Fran did have some pulmonary
edema, but were home the next day and I doubt she remembers a thing! She’s
as sassy as ever, and has even had grapes again although I will admit,
they were cut up into such small pieces it was practically grape soup!.

But I just want someone to know that these men were wonderful and I am so
thankful. Raul did not hesitate a second, he grabbed Frannie and threw
her upside down, hit her back, tried to sweep it, etc. Other firemen
there were telling me that she was crying a bit, so she was getting some
air, and it was okay...and because they said it, I felt it. I know I was
panicking, VERY much panicking...and I was crying and begging and yelling
at these guys to do something! And through it all they were doing
everything they could with calmness, support and skill. In our eyes these
men are heroes even though they were not the ones to pull the grape out,
and it was not a fire they were in the middle of.

My family, which includes my husband and our 10 month old son,
along with Madeline, are beyond grateful and thankful to these men. I am
proud to live in such a city where these firemen exist. I feel safer
knowing they exist. You should be VERY proud too.
Again, thank you does not seem enough. But...thank you."




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