“Feeling like you’re going to die…is a terrifying experience,” said Bill Booth of Valley Center. It was the first time in his 65 years on earth that he had need to call 911; thus, Bill had not thought much about how these emergency medical services can, literally, mean the difference between life and death.
While driving north on the 15 Freeway, nearing Rt. 76, he suddenly could not breathe and began shaking,” Bill explains. “I held it together until I could pull off the freeway and call 911 to ask for help; I cannot stress enough how frightened and vulnerable one is at a moment like this. You are completely dependent upon strangers. Will they get here in time? Are they well-trained? Your life is in their hands!”
A North County Fire vehicle pulled up in what seemed to Bill to be almost immediately. “They took control of my terrifying ordeal,” Bill explained. “The total calmness and professionalism of the paramedics put me at ease; I felt better immediately knowing that I was in good hands,” he remembers.
Bill said, further, that the NCFPD paramedics went far beyond his expectations. For example, after stabilizing the situation, one of the paramedics asked to use his cell phone to call his wife and let her know what was happening; in fact, he even called a second time to give Bill’s wife an update. “This was extremely important,” he said, “especially given the fact that when I pulled off the highway, the first thing I did was call my wife and she told me to call 911.” Thus, Bill’s
wife was in the dark and anxious to know precisely what was taking place. He also pointed out that one of the paramedics drove his truck to the fire station to get it off the busy roadway.
When the ordeal was over, Bill wrote a letter to the District in which he said, “How grateful I am for your selfless actions, sharp decision-making, excellent training, and genuine kindness. You went over and above on every level…my wife and I will remain eternally grateful.”