CMP M.D. Phelps R. Hope, CMP Vice President of Meetings and Expositions, Kellen Meetings
We were at a Midwestern convention center with escala- tors, and there I am just doing what I do as a planner, talk- ing to somebody — and over their shoulder I’m watching the escalator and people coming down onto the floor, and there’s a lady who comes onto the escalator with her little roller-board suitcase in front of her. As the escalator started to go down, she must have
been leaning on the roller-board, or it started to fall and she started to grab it — but for whatever reason, she got off-balance and just spun head over heels, with her legs fully extended like a tree, just wham, right over the top of her bag. Her head hit the escalator stair, her feet came all the way down, and she collapsed at the bottom of the es- calator with her bag pushing into her. So there’s this lady in a clump at the bottom of the es-
calator. She tries to stand up, and slumps back over again. Two of us run over and grab her and pull her up away from the base of the escalator, because people are freaking out and starting to bang into her. We pull her over to the side and put her in a chair.
104 pcma convene February 2012 She had cut her forehead above her eye, and it was
bleeding profusely. I turned to an attendee and said, “Hey, go to the coffee break over there and grab a handful of paper napkins.” So she did, and I paste the napkins on her forehead as a compress. Then I get on the radio and call the contact at the convention center to get the EMTs to come — but, meanwhile, I’m stand- ing there holding the compress on her forehead the whole time, directing traffic, with “Looky Lous” coming around to check out what’s going on. I just stay calm and smile like it’s no big deal. After about 15 minutes, she’s got a pretty big head-
ache, and is embarrassed as all get-out. The EMTs come and switch out the coffee-break napkins for a tradition- al compress and put her on a stretcher to haul her off — and we just kind of tidy up and move along with the rest of the conference. Just all in a day’s work. It’s the kind of thing you never expect, but you know during the course of a conference that something’s going to happen. — As told to Hunter R. Slaton