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Editorial

A close call that should be noticed

We’ve had more than our share of emergency responses in recent days. On Friday, crews from several area towns were on scene for a house fire along Route 124 in Jaffrey. At least one family pet was lost in the blaze, but the family is reportedly safe and uninjured. And over the weekend, emergency crews were back at it after a Greenville man riding his motorcycle with his 8-year-old daughter, navigated a corner too quickly, according to police, and crashed on Milliken Road at the corner near the Grandview Inn. The girl was taken to Monadnock Community Hospital with injuries that could have been a lot worse, while the father was airlifted with more severe injuries.

Presumably, the quick reaction from our responders in both cases helped mitigate the damage, or at least it provided a level of comfort. It’s what we’ve come to expect.

What we don’t expect is when we become the emergency responders, and when the safety of others is without notice put on our own shoulders.

That was the case last week when Angela Hutchinson was traveling along Route 202 from Peterborough to Jaffrey and came upon a scene that must have been equally bizarre and shocking. On the road along Route 202 were two young children. Hutchinson said the youngest child, who could have been as young as 14 months old, was in the middle of the roadway. The other, described by Hutchinson as being older, was on the shoulder of the often busy roadway.

Hutchinson did what hopefully any of us would do. She stopped her car and raced to get the child out of the roadway. Luckily, the story ends there. But the lessons should carry on.

The children were part of a program at the Monadnock Community Early Learning Center, which is on Community Lane not far from Route 202. Apparently, the kids managed to wander off after pulling up a section of fence. To be fair, the center has a solid track record of safety. And they were the first to report the incident to the state, which is now investigating.

The true lesson is that this type of incident can happen at even the most respected child care centers. And it can happen in our own backyards. The perfect remedy is for our childcare providers to always be on guard, to remain hyper-vigilant and to be proactive in their search of breeches and pitfalls.

Maybe it’s hearing of close-calls like this one that will spark a closer examination of procedures and surrounding environments by all our providers.

And when all else fails, luckily we have caring residents like Hutchinson who are willing to step up when duty calls.

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