On May 22, my neighbor was on a ladder washing the upper-story windows of his Ahwatukee house. His wife was holding the ladder at street-level, when he came crashing down. He fell 8 feet onto his head. The ladder came down onto his wife’s arm.

What followed when the Ahwatukee Emergency Medical Technician (EMTs) arrived was almost as startling as the fall itself. First, the EMTs had to strap the claustrophobic man onto a gurney, which they did with the utmost sensitivity and care.

Once he was safely on his way to the Maricopa Trauma Center and arrangements were being made for a neighbor to drive his wife there, one of the EMTs got up on the ladder and finished washing the window. Then they wrung out the sponges my neighbor had been using, returned the ladder and other equipment to the garage, swept the street, and washed away his blood.

For those who doubt that government can ever be efficient and compassionate, this is a story they should hear.

My Ahwatukee neighbors returned home that night, he with a concussion and stitches and staples in his head, she with an arm the color of night and twice its normal size. They are recovering well and are profoundly grateful to the EMTs who rescued them — and who, along the way, restored the hopes of all of us that government can still work right.

Toby Zimbalist

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