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Monday, February 20, 2006

Another "Blast From The Past"

MAY 17, 2005

About 3:30AM I received a call from the Grand Wailea that a sick infant and her parents needed to get to the hospital ER. I picked them up at 3:34AM.

The baby was in obvious respiratory distress (asthma?).

The trip is normally 35 minutes but since it was late and the roadway was empty I was rolling about 20MPH over the limit. (60 in a 40)

Right after we left Kihei, the baby stopped breathing.

I gave the parents shouted instructions on infant mouth-to-mouth.

I called 9-1-1 and advised them what I had.

I activated my 4-way flashers and floored it. Doing between 100 and 110 mph. Nice to have had a lot of training in this area.

Baby started breathing again within one minute.

About 1 minute out from the ER, the baby quit breathing again.

Entered the ER waiting room screaming "CODE BLUE!"

Immediate response from everyone.

Baby is fine now.

Made the 35 minute trip in 19 minutes.

Dad gave me $200 and a quick "thanks".

Had "the shakes" the rest of my shift.


On the island of Mau'i, the company I drive for is about average size. 12 cabs. On a global scheme, we are small.

We are based out of one of the major resort/spa/hotels in Wailea (why-lay-ah) and provide primary service to south Mau'i from Maalaea (mah-ah-lie-ah) on the north to La Peruse Bay on the south. We are the only cab company that operates 24/7 on the south side of the island. Most of the other cab companies down here stop operations at sunset. There is one that continues on until 11:00pm.

We do things a bit differently here. We have driving dispatchers. All requests for a cab come in via a cell phone and then are dispatched. I handle the dispatch duties on Friday and Saturday nights. On those nights I usually start the shift with 8 or 9 cabs on duty. By 10:00pm I am down to just 4 or 5. After 2:00am, it is just me until the first dayshift cab at 5:00am.

I never realized how unique this was until I took a Fortune 500 CEO and his wife to the airport one evening. It was a busy Friday evening and the phone wouldn't stop ringing. On our arrival at the airport, the man said, "Wil. I thought that I knew what 'multi-tasking' was until I met you. You're driving the cab, answering the phone, dispatching your other cabs, taking reservations for the next day and having a conversation with us. You never wrote anything down. You knew exactly where each of your cabs were and when they would clear their current assignment. I am impressed. Do you want to work for me?"

"Do I have to move to New York?"


"Thanks, but no. After spending 20+ years as a cop in hell I plan to spend the rest of my life in paradise."

At that time the fare to the airport was $36. He gave me $100 and "keep the change."

I guess all those years on patrol with multiple radios in the car was good training. :)

I work Tuesday through Saturday from 6:00pm to 6:00am (or 8:00am if we are busy in the early morning hours). My favorite "off-duty" activity is SLEEP.

This is Art Pidot (pie-dot), the owner. He has been in the taxi business in Hawai'i for nearly 35 years. Most of that on Mau'i. He can be a real pain at times but I like the guy.

If you ever come to Mau'i, call us ahead of time and we will pick you up at the airport. 808-874-6900.