When your imaginary Safety Net Fails: Time for a change.
When you think that you have a secure and safe place to live, work and play, you don’t think twice about it; until tragedy strikes. I always thought because I went to the gym at work and there were monitored cameras and security on site 24 hours, I would be safe and if something happens there is a emergency protocol in place. Well to my horror, that is not always the case. I am even starting to question is it ever?
Sometimes I go to the gym late Saturday night to workout. I thought that was perfectly fine because I swipe my badge, key in my code and the door opens. In the background, my picture shows up on the computer to identify who I am, in addition, I walk past security. My husband was not concerned with me going alone because of the aforementioned “security checkpoints”. One incident shattered this safety bubbling we were living in. Last night, we both went to the gym, when I went to sign in I noticed someone’s personal items. Purse, laptop, binder, jacket, and gym shoes. I automatically assume she was in the restroom but thought it odd she would leave her purse in plain view. About a minute later me and my husband noticed a woman lying on the gym floor. We just stared for maybe 30 seconds and then he asked her was she alright. She was unresponsive. He asked her again, “Are you alright”, nothing. She did turn-over and wiped something from her mouth. Immediately we determined she was having a medical emergency. My husband went to go get some help from Security and I took a look at when she signed the roaster. I freaked, she signed in two hours before we arrived. When my husband came back with security I was taken aback because the guy just didn’t exhibit of a sense of urgency. He then said he saw her lying there and thought she was taking a nap. I thought, taking a nap on the nasty gym floor. The security guard asked her was she alright, no response. It was as if she couldn’t respond or couldn’t hear him. He left to call for help and we sat down to wait for police and the EMTs. It seemed like the longest night of my life as I watched her to make sure there was some sort of movement. Thankfully, help arrived in less than 20 minutes. The police come first so they immediately started asking questions and they also asked her was she ok. No response but she did roll over again.
The security officer seemed oblivious to what was happening so the police started looking to us for answers. I found her badge and freaked again because I recognized the name. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any emergency contact information for her. I had always assumed since that is part of our employment records security would have the information. Well, if they did, that security officer didn’t know how to get it. When the EMTS arrived, they had the same questions, and asked her was she ok, no response. The entire scene was horrifying and not knowing what was happening to her was simply terrifying to me, but what about her.
What really scares me is the fact she may have been lying there in her soiled clothes and on the soiled floor for over two hours. If she had a heart attack or stroke, time is of the essence. What is even more frightening is I am usually the only one who goes to the gym that late so What IF we skipped going to the gym that night. How long would she have suffered alone hoping for help. I don’t know what happened to her; I am going to have to find out later. What is shocking is sometimes I go to the gym alone and workout, how long would I have laid there until my husband looked for me. What is unsettling is I know for sure the security guy would have thought I was taking a nap.
Because of this incident, I will not be working out alone. I have changed the way my smart phone operates so that if I am in an emergency, I may be able to use my phone to get help. I have also started looking into easier ways to identify my emergency contact. I have to look at all aspects of my life to see where security and safety improvements can be made. Unfortunately in this day and age you cannot depend on any systems to keep you safe and secure, you have take your own precautions.