Today, I want to talk about a different kind of fall from the usual type of senior falls (and their prevention) I blog about on Friday. This was a different, but just as scary, type of fall.
Yesterday evening, returning from Cutler Botanic Gardens (I've featured their lilies before, and plan to, again, soon) in Binghamton, New York, we were passed on the highway by two "State Fire" vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed.
Later last night we found out where they were going.
There is a hospital a bit more than a mile from our house, in Johnson City, New York. My son was born there. And, yesterday, a little after 3pm, a parking ramp collapsed. Minutes later, a co-worker's phone buzzed with a text alert from a news service, and we soon were online reading the news.
At this writing, it appears no one was trapped, although the area immediately around the hospital was put under a state of emergency. The two vehicles we saw speeding down the highway with lights flashing had a dog with them, a dog trained to sniff out possible victims.
Not only do we have an aging population at risk of falling, but we have an aging infrastructure at risk of collapse.
There are several parking garages in this area that are obviously not in good shape. People talk about them all the time. Two of them are in downtown Binghamton. One of them had two levels closed last month due to safety concerns.
When we heard the news of a parking ramp collapse, we thought it was one of the downtown ramps.
We were all frightened by the news of the collapse. This ramp is across the street from an emergency room and is, needless to say, heavily used. One of my coworker's husband sometimes works in a nearby building. That building was evacuated as a precaution, according to the news. According to the co-worker's husband, the employees heard and felt the rumble and someone yelled for them to get out quickly. They did. None of them was injured.
I wonder if this incident, nearly a tragedy, will wake up our local officials. Will something be done about our other local crumbling parking ramps?
I doubt it.
I hope I'm wrong. But if I'm not, what will it take for officials to take notice?