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Growing up, one of my claims to fame was that my dad was on the TV show “Rescue 911.”

For those unfamiliar with 1990s TV programming, “Rescue 911” was a show hosted by William Shatner (Captain Kirk himself) where real people replicated real 911 calls. The stories included a girl who nearly drowned in a washing machine, a boy who was attacked by an alligator, and a trucker whose brakes failed while driving down a steep mountain road.

My dad’s emergency involved a snowmobile accident near Island Park, Idaho. The way it happened in real life was that a snowmobiler hit a tree head-on. Shortly after, my dad and a friend came across the wreckage and then drove several miles to the nearest town where they called 911 from a pay phone. TV dramatization was much more, well, dramatic. Engines rev, powder flies, and an absurd number of slow-motion shots of their sleds looking serious. My dad, who is a bit of a show-off when it comes to his Ski-Doo skills, did all his stunts himself. We haven’t heard the end of it for months (never mind that it was overshadowed by another hero highlighted in the same episode – a policeman who performed CPR on a choking Dalmatian) .


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