Pennsylvania Firefighters Struggle to Cope With Deadly Accident

SARAH BUYNOVSKY
WNEP
Reprinted with Permission

Emergency responders are still trying to cope with emotions after a deadly wreck Monday in Lackawanna County claimed the life of a young boy.


"It is horrific, it's devastating, and no matter how much training you have to prepare you for what you have to go in on, there's no training for that, there's no training," said Chief John Stemphoski of Newton-Ransom Volunteer Fire Company.

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Investigators said Monday, a sport utility vehicle was hit from behind by a car along Dark Regions Road in Ransom Township. Cole Hazelton, not quite two years old, of Scranton who was strapped in the back of the Jeep died, despite efforts to save him.

Lt. Tony DeCicco was one of the first firefighters on the scene. He tried to pull Cole to safety, but could not.

"I can't even talk about it, it just, yeah, I can't. I'm sorry," said Lt. DeCicco.

The crew at Newton-Ransom held a special debriefing about the crash Tuesday night. Professionals were brought in to help the emergency workers cope.

"You always think about the kids," said Chief Stemphoski.

Many of those at the fire station have worked as firefighters for decades, including the chief who has been a firefighter for 39 years.

They said some calls they will always remember and this was one of those calls.

"It's just one of those days you never forget," said DeCicco.

Copyright © 2011, WNEP-TV

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yep guys, specially if you have children of your own, it's like seeing 'em on the scene... Cheer up boys!! if not because of us, firefighters, bigger could be the difference... count the lives saved, not the lost ones...
I think that those of us that have lost children on seen due have a lot of things to work through. Just know that while its always a part of you it does get better. We kind of joke that we put it in our PTSD closet and lock it up. While not the most healthy way it seem that those I have talked to who have also delt with this do the same thing. It never gets easier but it is part of the job, and in my mind the worst part.
It hits home with me even harder because my son knew the little boy. He's the same age as his daughter.It's truly a tragedy that maybe could have been prevented.
More than 15 years as a firefighter, first responder and district officer in a rural VFD, the calls for MVAs and med/emergency involving children or young adults that end up as fatalities are still the hardest to deal with. We have a great Chaplin/Firefighter who has skills in counseling and his efforts in this area are really helpful.

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