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When Community Comes Together
- Updated: December 7, 2013
On Wednesday at around 2:45pm Paul Harkness, Director of Macedon EMS, was on scene at a traffic accident when a familiar gentleman pulled up.
The elderly man, who Harkness knew right away, was looking for his wife. She has a tendency to walk off and he hadn’t seen her in almost two hours.
Harkness immediately called 911 to report the woman missing as he, along with his partner, set out to begin the search. “This time of year our first concern is exposure to the weather.” said Harkness.
As with any small town, word spread quickly. Soon several volunteers, local firefighters and neighbors all joined the search. “Despite the public perception around disputes between fire departments and such, all politics gets dropped in favor of community.” said Harkness.
One community member was especially quick to react. Tyler Robinson, who works at Macedon Police Department, saw the call come across her screen and immediately recognized the name.
“I’ve picked her up before.” said Robinson, who’s children attend a day-care near where the woman resides.
Once Tyler saw the State Police Officer responding was coming from Lyons, she immediately got into her vehicle and headed into town to assist.
She circled around a few times before heading for the woods she had seen the woman walking near in the past.
As she approached, Robinson saw a purple coat in the distance and stopped her car. “She was still walking so I yelled to her to stop.”
Robsinson, sporting high heels, ran to the woman and called 911. Wet, cold and muddy, the woman was mildly hypothermic once medics arrived.
Less than 45 minutes had passed from when Harkness made the initial call until Robinson found her.
“We really are a tight knit community.” said Harkness, who is no stranger to these types of incidents. He estimates that Macedon has about 20 similar cases each year.
He encouraged residents to look out for one another. “It’s about neighbors helping neighbors”.