Jack roared, “I said mad, not insane! You want me to heft you or let you go? Oh brother, this is hopeless! Wait a minute …”
Jack felt his fruit phone vibrate and announced, “Gwen, my phone! Of course! I can use my phone to get help! It just texted me!”
Gwen’s voice reached an epic pitch as she insisted, “This is not the time or place to be texting your friends! Pull me up, Jack!”
Jack responded, “No, don’t you see? I will lean into the rail, then with my free hand I can dial 911! You know, police, rescue, TV cameras, and then of course, talk shows!”
Jack freed up his fruit phone and punched in the save code while he focused his strength to hold onto Gwen. At least he had a good hold on her, though he was getting tired as his arm strained further and further.
The connection was completed when a female voice on the other end of the call responded, “911, what’s your emergency?”
Jack could almost see light at the end of the tunnel and barked, “We’re here on this bridge, and my girlfriend has fallen over the edge! I’m holding onto her hand, but I can’t hold her much longer! Please send emergency help to this location!”
The 911 operator responded, “Sir, this emergency service is here in the United States. Your geo-location from our emergency services database shows you calling from Poland. I strongly recommend that you hang up and dial the local emergency services.”
It was now Jack’s turn to scream as he begged, “No, don’t disconnect! We are at the old bridge here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, hanging over the river, not in Poland! Where are you answering this call?”
The 911 operator was unconvinced that the call wasn’t a prank of some sort but asked, “Describe the bridge, sir. I’m a native of Pittsburgh. I am answering this call in Pittsburgh, and the computers are showing your geolocation as overseas. If you can give me a reasonable description of your location, then I will consider this a valid call for help and dispatch personnel.”
Jack gasped and quickly related, “This is that old funky bridge with every third or fourth light burned out. Stupid people like to use this route when coming back from Old Town, when they want a thrill by foolishly walking on the wide rail area, instead of the footpath! My Gwen is the current fool I have in hand.
“Can we get some help here, now? Do you believe that your damn map and geo-location finding information is wrong?”
The operator quickly bridged in emergency personnel in close proximity onto the call and announced, “Sir, keep this line open as Emergency Rescue is on the way. It is a good thing you described the bridge in the manner that you did. My younger brother lost his friend on that bridge. I can’t ever forget its description.”
Jack, still gasping and struggling to hold onto Gwen, but with relief in sight, offered, “Thanks for not hanging up on me because your system thought I was in Poland. Sounds like you’ve got bigger problems than just our little one here.”
Ever the cool professional, she concurred, “Evidently.”
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