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CRS team meets women whose life it saved

March 05, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Wilma Robinson had tears in her eyes Friday as she hugged the three people who broke down her door Feb. 21 and burst into her Summit Avenue apartment in the early-morning hours.

"I can fix a dozen doors but you gave me back my life," said the 79-year-old Hagerstown woman as she met the Community Rescue Service personnel who restored her breathing that morning and got her to Washington County Hospital.

Robinson, who suffers from high blood pressure, had asked to meet the team who responded to her weak call for help that day.

Rich Kidd, a paramedic, and Terry Brown, an emergency medical technician, were partnered with CRS volunteer Barbara Johnston that Sunday morning when the call came in.

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They gladly gathered for the reunion - a pleasure that happens very infrequently, Brown said.

"A lot of times, we don't get to check up on people," Brown said. And other times, sadly, the next day's obituaries carry the news that the patient didn't make it.

But this time, it was different.

Brown said they were asleep at the CRS hall when the call came.

When they arrived, they encountered their first hurdle - a locked door. They could see Robinson inside, unconscious on the sofa.

"We couldn't get in so we forced entry," Brown said. That involved cutting a chain and smashing the glass.

Then they had to push the sofa away from the door to get to Robinson, Brown said.

"You were in bad shape," Brown told Robinson on Friday as he apologized for making such a mess. "We think you just had minutes to live."

Robinson said she didn't mind any of the damage done to her apartment. She said her life was much more important than that.

Johnston, a full-time pediatric nurse at WCH, and Kidd also talked to Robinson about how close she came to not making it that morning.

"But we got you," Kidd said.

Robinson, who was released from the hospital Friday, said she thanked them and the hospital staff and God for keeping her alive that day.

"I'll never be able to repay you," Robinson said.

But Brown noted that seeing her getting well is the best payment.

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