November 5th, 2010
01:49 AM ET

Ambulance makes stop to allow sick 83-year-old to vote

An 83-year-old man cast his ballot from a stretcher after persuading an ambulance crew taking him home from the hospital to detour to his local polling station.

Retired doctor Charles Gorby said he has never missed an election since he returned from World War II. He was not about to miss his first one on Tuesday.

"I imposed upon the ambulance crew if they could take me about a block beyond where I live to the firehouse where we vote in my area," said Gorby of Havertown, Pennsylvania.

"I made sure they didn't have an urgent commitment that would make that request irresponsible."

Carole Lieblein, a poll watcher at the station, said the EMT was unsure of the request.

"The ambulance pulled up and the EMT came in and said he had a gentleman with him who wanted to vote," she said,chuckling as she recalled the emergency medical technician's expression of, "Can I really ask this?"

After the judge of election deemed the request appropriate, Gorby said, the main doors to the fire station opened to allow the stretcher into the building.

Other people in line moved aside, and a voting booth was selected, he said.

"My feet and legs were sticking out," Gorby said.

He was in and out in about five minutes, Lieblein said.

"We all wished we had a camera," she said. "Everybody was very impressed that this gentleman was that determined to vote."

Gorby, a World War II veteran, said he enlisted when he was 17.

"At that time, you could not vote until you were 21, and I was one of those who thought my God, you could get shot for the country but you could not vote."

If he had not made it to the polls, Gorby said it would have been the first time he has failed to vote.

"He hasn't missed an election since he's been back from World War II, he's an outstanding guy, and we'd do anything for him," said Mike Fasone of Wissinoming volunteer ambulance.

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Filed under: Elections • Pennsylvania
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Gilbert

    I agree with Merle many key points and some I didn't even think about. Yes we owe our vets.

    November 5, 2010 at 5:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. zounds

    I voted, but was flippant,and disgusted about the "choices." This old fart
    reminded me of the importance of that little measure of power that adds up-
    big time!

    November 5, 2010 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. GoUSNR

    What a true testament to our country. I want to be just like this man. So far I have not missed a single election either! I'm much younger and it hasn't been as many years, but I still take my responsibilities seriously. I'm deployed with the Navy and have to vote absentee, but I did it!!! Thanks Dr Gorby for your contribution to our country!!!!

    November 5, 2010 at 5:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. It's Me

    EVERYONE wants to get the Democrats out of office.

    November 5, 2010 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Denise

      who are you to tell what EVERYONE wants. I part of that group and I didn't vote for a Republican. idot!

      November 5, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |

    This man, a hero. What's happening to us ? We are sadly going backwards .

    November 5, 2010 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kenny

    It's a shame that people complaine about everything. It would be good to note that the gentleman was carried in to vote on a stretcher and that he was in the process of being transported to his home from the hospital. It is likely that he was in a transport unit. This is a unit that does not usually respond to emergency calls but rather does only routine transporting duties. KUDOS to the team that helped this man that served our country in WWII.

    November 5, 2010 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Brenda

    Even if the president trip cost millions to go to Asia it doesn't compare to how much Bush spent on the eight years of war on his watch. We still haven't found weapons of mass destruction.

    November 5, 2010 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. sedley847

    I am proud of the ambulance crew for doing this for a VET. As an active duty military member and a volunteer fire fighter/EMT, I would have done the same thing for the man. I am also proud that this took place in my home state of Pennsylvania. Quit complaining that this was abuse of the EMS system, I am 99% sure that this was a medical transport unit that doesn`t play a part in emergency response to 9-1-1 calls unless it is included in part of the county`s disaster response plan. Stop whining about something you have no clue about, some of you have nothing better to do than complain to hear yourself complain.

    November 5, 2010 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. LogicalnLA

    God love this man! I don't care who or what he voted for- he spoke out.
    Bristol Pa;in didn't – too busy with Dancing with the Stars. Kelly Rippa didn't – said she was busy and then mentioned her new hair color. I freind of mine was out of town for 8 days- said he did not know there was an election going on becuase he hadn't watched ESPN!!!
    And we blame the people in office when we're unhappy. I suggest looking in a mirror.

    November 5, 2010 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. Drew F.

    The reason he did this is because he comes from a generation where people didn't think twice about meeting their obligations. Sacrifice and honor are normal qualities to our grandparents; what happened?

    November 5, 2010 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  11. A CNN Reader

    ""At that time, you could not vote until you were 21, and I was one of those who thought my God, you could get shot for the country but you could not vote." Yall please remember this even today when the kids come back from Iraq and Afganistan and want to buy a beer.... I am glad these guys did what they did... This probably made this Vet proud to have served his country!

    November 5, 2010 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. JR

    This is the kind of spirit that made this country great. People who stared fascism and evil in the face in WWII appreciate our freedoms and rights in this country.

    Remember this story when you hear someone whining about it being difficult to vote. You know, like those who don't want to face traffic or stand in line.

    November 5, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. I Voted

    How many of you smart know it all's posting comments voted? This man knows how important it is to vote. I salute him for his service to his country and for his patriotism. So many in this country today only speak of what's wrong with our country. Well this man did "what's right". Thank you Dr. Gorby and God bless you.

    November 5, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. Kelli

    As a vet, i'm sure he voted republican, and as a dem myself i get the feeling from the comments that i should somehow be offended. However, as a few have pointed out, it's all about being an American. Well done, I say to him.

    November 5, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mukarram Shahzad

    its funny because he thinks his vote counts! HAHAHA

    November 5, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
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