West Michigan Teen Saved By Firefighters 800 Miles Away In Massachusetts

WAYLAND, Mich. (WWJ) – A West Michigan teenager’s life was saved by firefighters more than 800 miles away.

A woman in Wayland, Michigan, sent an emergency message to the Wayland Fire Department Facebook page late Saturday night saying that her son was choking and she didn’t have access to a phone.

Except she sent the message to the Wayland, Massachusetts, fire department. Patrick Walkinshaw happened to be checking the Facebook page when he received the message. He did not recognize the address given by the woman and quickly determined that the woman was actually trying to reach the fire department in Wayland, Mich.

Assistant fire chief Neil McPherson said two other firefighters called the woman’s community dispatch center, which sent an ambulance to their house.

“We are very fortunate that all the stars were aligned the other night and that this individual happened to be on duty at the station, happened to get this message and happened to have people who could work with him,” McPherson said. “If this was at a different time or late at night, when frankly, most departments don’t monitor their social media sites, this emergency message could have been sent and it may not have been responded to until the following day.”

The 16-year-old boy survived.

“Truly one of those very unique situations, and that’s why I was very pleased when we heard back from the woman the next day that there was a positive outcome,” McPherson said. “I’m certainly very proud of our staff and the way they handled the situation.”

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