The past ten days or so have been extremely rough on firefighters on here in the DC/Baltimore region. We have had an abnormal amount of injuries. Most of you may have already heard about these fires. I can get links if you want but they are on most news sites.
First was last week when a Prince Georges County, MD engine company was rear ended after a run on the Capitol Beltway by a semi. The engine was flipped and pushed about 100 feet alone the jersey wall. It actually went through the wall from what I know and struck an suv in oncoming traffic. All four firefighters were transported to the hospital. One was in critical condition and almost lost his arm. From what I was told one of the other firefighters started a tourniquet on the arm that was detached at the elbow. The hospital was able to reattach the arm to the injured firefighter.
Second was a four-alarm fire in Baltimore City two days ago. At one point(maybe during the second alarm) there was a huge collapse trapping five firefighters. Maydays were called and accountability seemed to be a mess. Eventually, all five firefighters were pulled from the building and transported to Shock Trauma.
Third was a two-alarm fire in DC yesterday. Do to our moronic paramedic engine idea, most of the third battalion was already busy on medicals. This brought an unusual box alarm that delayed early water in what should have been a routine fire. Rescue 3 was on scene alone for awhile. Upon arrival communications gave an update that it's an unsafe vacant building. Rescue 3 was advised to search and give their opinion. They decided that everyone should pull out. At this time two other engines were making entry through the front. One company was lost for awhile and a lot of confusion turned into chaos. This turned into a defensive fire rather quickly. Three firefighters were transported to the hospital with injuries. The most severe was thought to be a broken leg on scene but turned out to be a sprain. There were also two fatalities in the fire building. There are some pictures on Statter911 of the firefighters carrying their injured brother out.
Unfortunately this region has fallen upon some bad luck. These three major departments are some the the busiest in the nation and are all within less than an hour drive of each other. A total of twelve firefighters were transported to hospitals. All are stable at this time but I would still like to ask for everyone to keep these brothers and their families in their prayers. Thanks.
Like you said the other day the DC/Baltimore area is one of the most densely populated areas in North America. Hopefully this "bad luck" is all behind you guys and you'll enjoy safer days ahead.
We shall keep the injured, their families and the departments in our prayers.
I hope the DC area bad luck ends soon. As for the ALS engine system you guys are stuck running, I hope the powers that be in Detroit see what it is doing to response time for fires and stay away from it. I know that is an option they are talking about and the union is fighting it. Departments that are as busy and you DC guys and Detroit is with fires do not need to have the added burden of EMS.
My prayers go out to the injured Brothers.
As for the ALS engines. We have them here too, but the ambulances are right with us for the most part and we don't stay on scene if there is a fire. Sounds like the powers that be need to rethink there ALS engine SOGs.
You've got to be kidding... Detroit? That would be a complete mess. We don't run even close to the fire volume that they do. We did in the 80s or 90s but DC has changed as a city. It would be a huge mistake if they went in that direction.
Unfortunately we run out of ambulances to even respond on runs on a daily basis. I've been on the ambulance before and had to respond about 60 blocks for a shooting. It's so busy that when an ambulance clears the hospital they are instantly put on a run since the runs are just queued up in the system. If it's across the city then its across the city.
Can definitely get rough. Many of the ambulances don't get a chance to eat meals or sleep at all in their 24 hour tour of duty. That can become dangerous with zero breaks and no chance to eat. Not to mention our chief is trying to take 14 ambulances out of service at night between 0100 and I think 0900 or something like that.
The city is trying to blame the FF's for the poor EMS system in the city. There are some that are saying the union has been fighting using fire companies to run EMS, but in years past the union was all for it as long as the city provided the training and paid for CE classes. Now there is no way the fire companies could cover the number of EMS calls they have with the shear number of fires they run. The city is down to running as low as 10 rigs in the entire city. A squad had to transport two kids that were pulled from a house just last week due too no available rigs.
That would be a disaster waiting to happen.