My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Posts Tagged ‘help’

Census workers save a life

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Yes, this is a watchdog site, so I don’t report all of the good news, but this story about Census Bureau employees serendipitously being in the right place at the right time is worth reading:

Census workers help rescue man

Two women acted quickly after realizing they were hearing desperate plea for help


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Barbara Westbrook and Debra Billings, two census workers, agreed Tuesday night to take one last assignment to knock on 10 more doors in a neighborhood off Columbia’s North Main Street.

When the two women knocked on the door of a Colleton Street home, they heard a man’s voice from inside. But a passing train prevented them from understanding what he said.

“We get all kinds of responses, from people telling us to go away, people who try to ignore us when we know they’re there,” Westbrook said.

The two women could have figured the man wanted them to leave and headed to the next address. After all, it was after 7 p.m. and they had nine more addresses to check before 8 p.m.

But they waited out the train and realized the man was calling for help.

“He said, ‘I’m hurt. I’ve fallen and I need help. Call 911,’” Westbrook said.

Billings, whose husband is a volunteer firefighter, used her cell phone to call 911. Then, the two women went to a nearby apartment complex to ask for help. Billings was not available Wednesday to talk about the rescue.

“She took him seriously and knew exactly what to do,” Westbrook said in praising her co-worker’s actions.

Neighbors removed the man’s screen door, then a teenage boy kicked in the front door.

“It was just like the movies,” Westbrook said. “He would run and jump up and kick at the door.”

Once inside, they found a man face down in a corner.

He had fallen while walking toward his television to start a movie, Westbrook said. He had been lying alone in a hot house for nearly 24 hours.

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