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Seeking a cellphone

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I don’t have a cellphone, and as I rode my bike west over the Provencher Bridge, I had no way of notifying emergency personnel that there was a young man in distress who had stopped halfway across. He was staring fixedly down at the fast-moving water.

A fellow cyclist rode up — he also didn’t have a phone — but he stayed to talk calmly with the young man.

I continued over the bridge seeking someone with a cellphone.

The first two people, no phone. Third person was a stylishly dressed 30-something fellow with both an expensive-looking camera and a cellphone.

"Would you mind calling 911?" I asked. "There’s a fellow in distress on the bridge."

"Are you kidding me?" he replied, squinting in the direction of the bridge where the fellow was perched on the railing. "Actually," he said as he strode away across the bridge, "I do mind and I won’t be calling." His response was shocking.

I especially want to thank the kind woman who, moments later, didn’t question why I was asking, dialed 911 and handed me her phone. Thank you for being amazing; your generosity was very much appreciated.

— Rob Shaw

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