There was a serious lack of monitoring at the Bel Air parking garage on Jan. 24, when I served my calling to be on the jury panel.
It was one of the coldest days of this year. We were dismissed at noon and I headed to the parking garage and may car on the sixth floor. I got on the elevator alone, against my better judgment. After passing the fifth floor the elevator abruptly stopped with a jolt. My first thought was panic but I chose to access the situation and I realized there was an alarm button and a telephone button.
I pushed the alarm button first (and probably a hundred more time for the next hour). Does anyone hear this alarm? Then I pushed the phone button and my calls were sent to Shepherd Pratt, G.B.MC., a recording to leave a message (six times). A parking garage that has no sixth floor. I was beginning to panic and kept calling the only person I had access to, the man behind the phone button.
I had no cell phone; it was in my car. I then told this man to call 911 immediately and get some help to me. I was very cold. Very soon the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Co. arrived and their pounding on the door was music to my ear. They forced open the door but I was a few feet below floor level. They climbed down and helped me up. A Harford County Sheriff's Deputy then gave me a ride to my car. I am so very grateful to them and just waned to publicly send my appreciation.
As an aside, I was never asked my name, how long I had been trapped and if I was OK. This seems very strange to me. I will never again use this elevator. No one is minding the store! Public beware.
Again thanks to my rescuers!
Nellie W. Vaught
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