Firefighter Patrick Walkinshaw happened to be checking the Wayland, Mass., fire department page on Facebook at 10:30 p.m. Saturday when a desperate plea arrived via message – a Wayland mom needed help for her 16-year-old son.
“Help me, my child is choking on chicken and I don’t have a phone, please help,” she wrote, according to a Firehouse.com post.
Except firefighters didn’t recognize the address provided by the woman, firefighters wrote on the Wayland Firefighters, Local 1978, page on Facebook. Then they realized she was trying to reach firefighters in Wayland, Mich., – about 800 miles away from their station west of Boston.
Walkinshaw’s fellow firefighters Dean Casali and William Tyree jumped into action. Casali got in touch with the Wayland, Mich., fire department to get an ambulance on the way.
“Once we got the ambulance dispatched to her, I got back on the messenger app and tried to communicate with her, try to walk her through some instructions if she was having some trouble with the Heimlich and give her some pre-arrival instructions before the ambulance got there,” Tyree told WBZ.
The mother later contacted Massachusetts firefighters to say her son was all right, reported MLive.com. The firefighters urged people to use 911 for emergencies whenever possible and not to rely on Facebook, noting the Massachusetts’ department’s page is not normally monitored.
“The stars were absolutely in alignment. It really did work out,” Tyree told WBZ.