Cigarette Lighters and Children – A Poor Combination

It was the Christmas season and there was snow on the ground.

The mother had just started a new job at a nursing home and had left her two children with her good friend named Charity.

Poncho and Rogue were their names.  Poncho was three years old and Rogue was five.  And then there was four year old Monique who was Charity’s daughter’s name.

The three children were upstairs playing with a cigarette lighter when the fire lit some plastic toys on fire.  Monique and Rogue came downstairs, but for some reason Poncho didn’t.

Minutes later Charity noticed the smoke coming down the stairs. Rogue and Monique made it downstairs, but Poncho was still upstairs.  She tried going upstairs but the smoke was too dense.

The fire department was called.  Firefighters quickly rescued Poncho, but not before he was in cardiac arrest.  Poncho was quickly taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The fire investigator determined the fire was started by a cigarette lighter. Pictured above are two novelty cigarette lighters.  If you smoke, be sure and keep your lighters secured so no children play with them.  Cigarette lighters and children are a poor combination.

Pictured below is Chief Moody carrying Monique over to the ambulance. 

 

 

Selfless Service

By Lieutenant Michael Rose

When you think about the phrase “Selfless Service”, what ideas are sparked or imagined in your brain? Is it a heroic act that is performed by a stranger or a simple act of generosity? The El Dorado Fire Department is comprised of several members that provide Selfless Service to the community. Each member is ready and prepared to fulfill their duty, when they are called upon.

April 27, 2017 was not just another normal day at the firehouse. It seemed to begin just like every other job but the day would unwind into something unique.  The on duty crew arrived to start the day and check in the apparatus. The daily grind had begun with a couple of events scheduled for the day, hose test, training and building inspections.

At 1 o’clock, Engine 10 arrived at Station 2 to perform the hose test. This test would require members to remove all the hose off the apparatus and place the hose onto the ground. Each hose was inspected prior to the pressure test. “This won’t take long”, stated a Student Resident, who has obviously never completed hose test before. If you were wondering, there is a little of 2000 ft. of hose on a fire engine, shouldn’t take long at all.

The test requires us to fill the hoses with water and pressure test the hose at 250 psi for 5 minutes. The test was completed and time for a break. As I walked into the bay to grab a cup of coffee, the El Dorado Fire Department was dispatched to North Emporia for a structure fire. Guys sprinting across the apparatus floor to put on their gear is the image that was seen by the neighbors at Station 2 that afternoon.

Engine 9 and Tower 1 responded to the call and arrived on scene to find a house with heavy fire on the front porch of the residence. Master Firefighter Caleb Carson was down the street mowing yards and responded to assist with pump operations and water supply. The extinguishment was witnessed by several cell phone taking pictures as bystanders stood in the street.

This is the picture that the community sees, these are the images that are printed and posted in the news. What most people don’t see, is the “Selfless Service” that takes place at the fire station during these incidents. Lieutenant Shane McCoy, Firefighter Chris McGathy, Firefighter Caleb Fistler and Student Resident Grayson Pryce arrived at Station 2 to provide Selfless Service to the community. These gentleman not only provided for the community that day, but went above the call to provide an unforgettable service to the brotherhood.

They decided to load the hose onto Engine 10 and wash several pieces of equipment. I, Lt. Rose arrived at the Station to find Engine 10 parked on the front apron and fully equipped for service. My jaw dropped and the words of Thank you should have been spoken, but in the moment, I was completely speechless. The guys were tired, worn down and needing rest and the thought of coming back to the station to load 2000 feet of hose was a little overwhelming. I don’t know how to repay the favor and we are in debt to these gentleman. Hopefully, this story has portrayed the image of “Selfless Service” and these gentleman will receive the gratitude that they deserve.

 

Tobacco Cessation: Helping Those Who Want It

A friend of mine is facing a formidable foe by the name “Tobacco.” Few take on this opponent without an incredible battle. The person has sought support via Facebook, so I decided to share a tobacco story. Here’s that story.

Like many, I gave old man Tobacco a try as a youngster. After several inhalations, I nearly lost my lunch. Maybe that’s the secret to avoiding the old man, but he would get me in another way – for a while.

Firefighters get a bit nervous while sitting in the fire station waiting on the next call. Years ago – when I was a new firefighter – the common way to relieve that tension was Tobacco. Six of every ten Salina firefighters were smokers and there was no place in the fire station you couldn’t light up – including the kitchen table.

I was one of the four in ten non-users, but it’s fair to say that second-hand smoke had me taking in around a half-pack a day. A drive to work one morning changed things.

A radio national news reporter talked about a medical study that had recently been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study documented the adverse effects of second-hand smoke. I immediately recognized my opportunity.

I decided to write an anti-smoking petition. The petition asked for the entire fire station to be smoke free. It seemed like a good idea to ask for the whole and hope for a piece. Now you need to understand that this was early 1980’s – well before most buildings had smoking restrictions. The City of Salina had none.

I got a big percentage of the firefighters to sign the petition – even smokers. To everyone’s shock – including mine – the fire chief enacted my petition just as requested.

I was immediately about as popular as a diaper rash. Some eventually got over their hatred towards me, but some never did.

Over the years I have watched a number of my friends go through the withdrawal process of smoking cessation. I quit smoking another way.

Addictions have a strangle hold on many people. We need to help those that want it – users and bystanders.

Two Lucky Plumbers – The Importance of Shoring

The crew was placing a water supply pipe for a new home.  One worker was operating the backhoe and two other workers were working in the shoreless trench.

Typically, most trenches are pretty stable in ground like this that hasn’t been interrupted for some time.  The workers thought this was the case and their work commenced without shoring.

Ted was working at the exact point where the collapse took place.  He was leaning over when the slab of soil hit him.  his head was pushed down by his legs.  Lucky for Ted his body placement created an air pocket.

Bill was approximately twenty feet from Ted.  The collapse pinned Bill up to his lower mid-chest point.

Sam, the backhoe operator made the call for rescue.  Firefighters arrived shortly thereafter.  The firefighters were told by Bill that Ted was covered by dirt.  Ground pads and trench panels were placed in and around the trench.

As the rescue team centered on the point told by Bill, they faintly heard something.  It was Ted hollering for rescue.  Hand bucket after hand bucket of dirt was scooped from the trench where Ted’s voice was heard.

Finally, the top of Ted’s ball cap became visible.  An oxygen line was passed into space beside Ted’s head.  First the firefighters uncovered the soil area around Ted’s head.  From there it took another hour to finally remove Ted from his earthly tomb.  While Ted was being rescued Bill was also rescued.

This near fatality accident reinforces the importance of trench shoring.  This easily could’ve been a double fatality accident.  What it was, was two lucky plumbers.

*This accident happened in Salina back in the early 1990’s.