A woman who had just returned from dialysis was lying in her car, bleeding, when Pensacola sanitation worker Ronald Booker jumped into action.
When city of Pensacola sanitation employee Ronald Booker saw a woman lying halfway out of her car from four or five vehicles back, he knew he couldn't just drive by.
What Booker thought was someone working on their car Wednesday morning turned out to be an older Pensacola woman having a serious medical episode in her driveway.
"I pulled over and walked up to this lady and asked her if she was all right, and she was mumbling," said Booker, who was in the middle of his morning route at the time. "I stepped back and saw she was lying in a puddle of blood. I saw she had a sweater that was wrapped her around her arm. I asked her what happened and she said she came from dialysis downtown."
The woman described herself to Booker as "a bleeder" and explained that her arm hadn't been wrapped tightly enough.
"She made it home, but I guess she just fainted and she got dizzy before she (got inside the house)," Booker said. "There was blood on the car and on the ground."
Booker quickly called for an ambulance and in the meantime, he focused on containing the blood, while also propping the woman up against her car and trying to keep her from losing consciousness.
"I'm goofy anyways so I started cracking jokes so she would laugh to stay awake," he said. "I said some funny stuff and she responded and was talking. I told her 'Let me take you in the house,' 'cause the sun was beaming on her. She was sweating."
Booker said he kept making jokes to keep the woman awake as she lay on her couch.
"I grabbed some paper towels to wipe her forehead and face off 'cause she was sweating," Booker said. "I cut the light on and the fan on and just waited until the EMT got there."
The paramedics arrived at the woman's residence a short time later. As they loaded her into the ambulance, Booker said he stayed behind to make sure her car and house were secured.
"Only thing she had with her was her glasses and her keys, so when they took her out of the house, everything I cut on, I cut off," he said. "I turned everything off and I left her a note by her front door with my name and phone number so she would let me know she was all right when she got back home."
Booker locked the front door of the house and grabbed a bag from the woman's car, which he thought may have contained her medicine. He handed the bag off to the paramedics before they left for the hospital.
Lending a hand to a woman mired in a life-threatening situation was simply the human thing to do, Booker said.
"It's a human life, I couldn't just ride by," he said. "And there were like four or five cars in front of me and I don't know if they saw it, but I did. I stopped immediately."
Booker is still waiting on that phone call from the distressed woman he helped rescue, but he's optimistic that she'll be OK.
"I'm just thankful I was there at the right time and the right place," he said.
Jake Newby can be reached at email@example.com or 850-435-8538.