Fight or flight

Published 8:29 am Monday, October 19, 2015

The fight or flight response, for those who do not know, refers to a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack or threat to survival.

It was first described in the 1920s by a man named Walter Bradford Cannon as a theory that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system.

In other words, the body is getting you ready to either fight or flee when faced with a dangerous situation.

Last weekend, the body of Mark Granning clearly got him ready for the “fight” when a fire broke out at a seven story apartment building in downtown Niles.

Despite being an amputee and needing a wheel chair to get around, the 65-year-old Army veteran sprung into action when he found out that a fire was raging inside the apartment unit next to his.

Granning, who is missing the majority of his right leg, wheeled down the hallway to grab a fire extinguisher, only stopping to activate the apartment building’s fire alarm.

He then went back to the room where the fire was still burning and, from just outside the doorway, blasted the fire with the extinguisher.

When the fire extinguisher ran out, Granning yelled for help and a resident brought him another fire extinguisher. He continued to fight the fire with the extinguisher and it finally went out by the time he was done with the second extinguisher.

Firefighters said the fire was just about completely out by the time they arrived.

Granning could have simply left the building when he found out there was a fire, but he chose to stay behind and help, despite the potential danger.

If it wasn’t for Granning, the fire likely would have caused even more damage to the building, which suffered heavy heat and smoke damage to the affected room and some smoke damage in the hallway.

We commend him for responding to the situation with a desire to help, rather than simply fleeing the scene.

He said afterward that the world needs more people who respond to crisis rather than run from it.

We tend to agree.

The world would be a better and safer place if there were more people like Granning.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.