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Mike’s Musings: No fun being trapped in an elevator

Have you ever been trapped in an elevator?
Until last week, I could unequivocally say “no.” Now having been around for a while, I have ridden up and down on my share of elevators and never gave it a second thought that one might go kaput. But there I was trapped on the eighth floor with two others- one a 6’9” professional basketball player and another muscular moving guy. Oh and I forgot to mention, the mover also had a huge couch in the elevator that made for very little room for the three of us.
So what do you do? The door wouldn’t open and none of the controls worked. We were completely enclosed. We pressed the floor buttons over and over and nothing. We pressed the emergency buttons and nothing.
We spent our time joking about the situation and googling what to do when your stuck in an elevator. Nothing seemed to work. We were sweating profusely because there was no air conditioning. And there was no room to move, we had to stand in one place because the sofa took up two-thirds of the elevator space.
I called my fiancé, who always answers her phone, but in this instance, she didn’t. I called a second and third time, no answer. Later, I learned her phone was on vibrate mistakenly. We had been trapped for 10 minutes, then 20, and now we were long past a half hour.
I thanked God, it was us in the elevator and not three small children or three elderly adults. It could have been devastating to children or the elderly.
I was getting frustrated. All three of us pushed in unison on the door in an attempt to pry it open to no avail. We scoured the elevator for a piece of thin metal that we might be able to wedge in the door, again to no avail.
I learned more about professional basketball overseas than I ever want to know. Ditto the intricacies of moving furniture. The jokes and conversation began to recede, as frustration and genuine fright took over.
The mover started to push up pieces of the ceiling in the hope he could find some kind of manual override above us. That didn’t work either. It was like all power had shut down and we were going to be best of buddies until someone realized we were not where we should be.
We tried the emergency button again and someone finally answered after several rings. After taking our information, they indicated they were 45 to 60 minutes away. Dejectedly, we hung up and decided we would have to wait until the elevator repair people arrived- another hour after having been trapped for an hour.
Then it occurred to one of us to call the fire department. We did just that and within fifteen minutes they arrived and were able to pry the door open and release us to the world. Why we didn’t think about that an hour earlier I will never know, but now you know, if you get stuck in an elevator, the first call you should is to the fire department. God Bless those first responders. I can’t thank them enough for coming to our aid.

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