AJ Vining was in her apartment building’s elevator with her three-year-old daughter when everything came to a standstill on May 21.
“My daughter, Maycie, was singing and suddenly the elevator stopped between floors,” said the Langford mom, who has lived the building for 10 years. This is the first time something like this has happened to her.
“I wanted to remain calm, but I began panicking because I’m claustrophobic. I started imagining the four walls surrounding us and I couldn’t get it out of my mind.”
Vining discovered she had left her cellphone in her apartment. She pressed the ‘call for help’ button and was connected with a repairman who soon confirmed he was on his way to help.
She soon realized she didn’t ask how long it would take and the stress began closing in once more.
“I had a flashback to when my mom and I rode Space Mountain at Disney World as a kid,” said Vining. “I wasn’t scared when I went on it the first time, but my mom was terrified. The second time we went on, I became just as scared as her. I didn’t want Maycie to feed off of my emotions.”
That’s when she heard a voice from above – it was a neighbour waiting for the elevator. She quickly responded and the two began talking to keep them reassured as he dialed the non-emergency line for Langford Fire Rescue.
Within 10 minutes of the call, Langford fire crews arrived just as the repairman began freeing the duo from the elevator. Vining said the firefighters took the Maycie out to their truck to give her a tour and a stuffed dog wearing a firefighter hat.
“Having them there was a godsend for us,” she said. “If we didn’t get a chance to talk with them, I probably would’ve had a panic attack later that night. They were so personable and able to calm both of us down.”