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Cell phone and altruism help woman and her pet



Published: Sat, June 11, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



By KATIE LIBECCO

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- One resident and her dog got through what could have been a very tough situation last week thanks to technology, caring paramedics and a charitable effort.

Susan Crawford, 56, left the Goodwill Apartments, 3531 Hillman St., last week in her motorized wheelchair to take her dog, Brandy, for a walk. A mile and a half from the apartments the wheelchair broke down, stranding the woman and the dog on the sidewalk on Hillman Avenue, said Nicole Baringer of Animal Charity.

The day before, Crawford had received a simplified cellular phone designed specifically for emergencies. She pressed the emergency button on the phone and an ambulance was dispatched to her.

When paramedics from Rural Metro Ambulance arrived, they assisted the woman and her wheelchair into the ambulance. Although they would escort her back to the apartment building, strict health laws restricted the dog from accompanying them in the ambulance.

Help for the dog

Not wanting to abandon the dog, one of the paramedics called Animal Charity on South Avenue for help.

Lorrie Byo, humane investigator for Animal Charity, arrived moments later and took the dog into the van.

The paramedics escorted the woman and her wheelchair back to her home and Byo, with Crawford's dog, followed the ambulance back.

Animal Charity did not charge for the emergency escort service.




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