Stopping for directions

I canít give directions to save my life. If you donít believe me, just ask the delivery guys who came to deliver my new furniture a few months ago. If my grandmother, who lives nearby, hadnít seen the truck driving by hopelessly trying to follow the horrible directions I had given them, they would probably still be driving around lost to this very day.

When the directions pertain to where to drop furniture or how to get to a birthday party, the situation isnít that dire, but if there were an emergency, Iím pretty sure the ambulance, fire truck or police car would probably be just as confused by my horrible directions, only it would probably be worse because Iím not good in high stress situations. Neither are the rest of the members of my family. Thatís probably why a relative, who lives outside Chenango County, had to wait 45 minutes the other day when she had to call an ambulance, even though there were two fire stations less than 10 minutes away. Eventually, two ambulances from two different departments were sent out in search of the house, and they ended up circling each other, neither sure exactly where they should be going.

I donít blame the ambulance drivers. The extra time is just one of the factors you have to accept when you live in an unpopulated area, but it did surprise me. I assumed most emergency vehicles would have GPS.

Last night, I learned that my assumption was wrong. I understand why a municipality wouldnít want to add additional features like GPS systems. A new ambulance generally costs upwards of $160,000, and if you start adding unnecessary extras, that cost is going to continue to go up, but still, I was surprised.

Maybe thatís because I have become dependent on my own little GPS system. I have no natural sense of direction. My husband can figure out that if he goes in a certain direction, he will eventually get to the road he needs and find his way. That does not work for me, and as a result, Iíve come to rely on the little voice that tells me how to get to where I need to go. If I turn the wrong way, there it is again, telling me how to get back on course.

I use my GPS all the time, and thatís just so Iím not late to an interview or a meeting, or so my son doesnít have to wait at the baby-sitterís house until mommy can find her way home. But if the thing can be so helpful to me, it seems like it could really be effective for emergency workers. When time is of the essence, and someoneís life could be on the line, who really wants to stop and ask for directions?

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