Fun Monday - Guest Blogger
Here is an unusual story that came to mind:
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Life as firefighter and paramedic for twenty-six years gave me plenty of opportunities to feel proud of being a public servant. Sometimes, it comes in strange forms. One that comes to mind was a typical (if there is such a thing) house fire. One that Hollywood might make. I was the Captain in charge and on arrival I observed the front of the house on fire and coming through the roof of the one story older home. The first in engine company was to come directly to the fire after stopping at the fire hydrant, the ambulance crew would hook up the supply line, and the fire crews were to advance on the fire. One of the first tasks for the crew was to enter from the unburned side (the back door), search for occupants and knock down the seat of the fire.
The ambulance crew donned masks and gear to start their assigned task of ventilating the building. The second engine and ambulance crew arrived in short about the same time the fire crew entered the back door. The fire crew was ordered to backup the fire crew inside and assist with search and rescue and extinguishing the fire.
Within a couple of minutes the Paramedic Lieutenant on the second engine company came running to the command post with an unconscious dog, not breathing. The seat of the fire had been knocked down and the ambulance crew was available to provide rescue breathing for the owners pet (they were not at home at the time.) The order was given and the Paramedics, with oxygen and intubation tubes at ready, started to work on the patient. There were plenty of spectators watching the event and by their concerned faces, they were rooting (or praying) for the fallen animal.
Paramedics are called to do the unexpected and their training paid off. The dog began breathing on its own. By now the backup ambulance with additional paramedics arrived. With enough crews on site to finish fire and overhaul procedures, two paramedics were ordered to take the rescued patient to the veterinarian…stat…pronto. With lights and siren alerting the public of the emergency, they departed.
The owners were located, notified of the fire and arrived at the command post. One of the first questions asked was “is our dog OK?” I explain what happened and that he was at the vet’s and being attended to.
I can honestly say that for all the emergency personnel that attended this fire, the actions and decisions made are just part of who we are and how we think. Just part of the job. But for others, they saw it very differently. It made me proud to be a firefighter when a member of the news media came to me and said “Captain, that is one of the most compassionate acts I have ever seen.”
The owners stayed with their pet overnight at the vets but, sadly it did not survive.
I have a coffee cup with the following: A Firefighter is: brave, energetic, dedicated, courageous, strong, and heroic.
I’m proud to have had a career as a firefighter. Next time you see one, tell ‘m thanks for all they do.
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