After reading your article in the October 28 issue of CityBeat [“Rural/Metro crashes out of compliance”], I thought you might appreciate my experience with Rural/Metro.
My event took place on April 15 of this year on First Street between by Ralph’s Supermarket. At that time, as well as now, I was/am disabled and I walk with the aid of a walker with four wheel, due to my degenerating hip. Prior to my incident I was one of the homeless living/ sleeping near the Convention Center. Doing as many homeless people do, my buds and I woke up thirsty. We pulled our cash for inebriation deliberation. I was elected to enter Ralph’s for said purchase, because of having an ID. As I was walking across the G St. sidewalk directly in front of Ralph’s near First Street I noticed that the sidewalk was soaked, presumably in an attempt to clean it. With a premonition I thought: I hope I don’t slip. The doors opened and I noticed no entrance mat to wipe my feet. Well, within two steps I slipped, falling with total weight on my right knee. Not good. I was wondering how bad my condition was, with a concern for my bilateral knee replacements.
Eventually, I stood without much help from the Ralph’s crew, who were more worried about covering their asses as opposed to the extent of any injury I had. Although I hurt, I was able to complete my mission. (What a trouper, thank you.) While imbibing with my mates, the pain increased and it was obvious that I needed hospital care.
Eventually, the ambulance showed, after a friend called. The ambulance crew told me to take the bus or a cab and they drove away leaving me stupefied. Can you believe this? I couldn’t. Thank the Lord one of my crew found San Diego’s HOT team and they transported me to Hillcrest in the back of their van. During this time, my pain was increasing and my ability to bend my right knee was lessening as time passed.
To end this tale of woe, I was finally diagnosed with a fractured femur next to my right knee implant. Thank you, Rural/Metro for you concern and assistance.
It wasn’t so much the wait for the ambulance as it was, “Walk to a bus stop and take care of yourself.” If I could, I would. It was only a fractured femur. Shake it off.
Greg Kowalski, San Diego
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