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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Someone is laying on your lawn, your sidewalk … what should you do?

Someone is laying in your front yard or on the sidewalk in front of your house  …  what should you do?

This writer went to Fire Station 63 to get some answers, some direction.

Remember one can never be too cautious.  It is a judgement call on your part.  Each situation is different. 

In general  –  first see if you can get a response from person.  Try to talk with him.  He may have just fallen asleep and will be merrily on his way when he is awakened.  If he does not wake up, call 911.

Or just call 911 in first place and operator will ask you questions.   911 operator will ask you to see if he is breathing.

If he is breathing, 911 may ask you to ask him questions, such as his name, if he has a medical problem … many possibilities.  If the decision is made that he needs help, the 911 operator will send whatever service is available.

If he is not breathing, 911 may ask you if you can and will  perform CPR until the ambulance arrives. They may ask you to move him on his left side.   Not breathing requires a higher level of emergency response, which might include an ambulance and a fire truck or more.

In Venice, most residents assume the down person is drunk.  Probably, in Venice this is frequently a true response, but it is not always true.  Another common occurrence is that the person is just asleep.  The paramedics refer to people who have been drinking as being in an “altered” state.  The down person may have had half a beer and passed out in a diabetic state or had a heart attack.

Personal Judgement Calls
Years ago, this writer called 911 about a man in the middle of Pacific Ave on the Penninsula early one morning.  Everyone else was driving past. He didn’t smell of alcohol; he didn’t answer questions.   911 operator asked me to see if he was breathing and I said he looked alive but I didn’t know if he was breathing.     I asked how would I know if he was breathing.  I couldn’t see his chest.  Operator said bend down and see.  I said “I don’t think I will do that; I think I will pass on that one.”  I had been viciously attacked without provocation before and had both body and vehicle damage and thought one of my dogs was dead and the memory still lingered.  I really didn’t want to bend over this man who was twice my size and half my age with only a phone in my hand as a lifeline to the rest of the world.  That was my judgement call.

Fire engine arrived as did an ambulance and man was removed in ambulance and, I assume, to hospital.

Recently, a young man looked like he was asleep on sidewalk in front of my house.  I let him sleep. He was gone within an hour.  That was my judgement call.

Comment (1)

  1. Roger of Venice

    Turn on the sprinklers. Get out the pepper spray, the taser and the baseball bat. This is the best way to get rid of pests.

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