WEEK IN REVIEW

 

THIS IS A FAIR REPRESENTATION OF CONDITIONS IN THE HOUSE MINUS THE VOLUME.

 

Ok I’m back. It’s been a long week and the blog has suffered. I do what I can folks but sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day. Looking back it’s a wonder how fast time does pass by. Work was the dominant player this week. We were called out to fight two fires during the tour. Both were day time fires and that is a plus as night jobs are that much more complicated.

The first fire was an apartment fire that went pretty smoothly. The tenant apparently had been evicted earlier that day so no doubt who is suspected in this one. The second job however was anything but smooth. We were called to what looked like a normal, run of the mill dwelling fire. Like we preach over and over, there is no such thing as a “routine” fire.

In a scene right out of the TV show, the resident of this “house” was a pack-rat or as many people now call “hoarder”. Apparently this elderly woman never threw anything she ever laid hands on away. Ever. I knew we were in for a battle when we had to fight our way through the back yard just to get to the kitchen door. It took five minutes just to reach the door. It was all of ten feet away.

It is pretty tough to describe what we encountered but I’ll give it a shot. Imagine a small row house with so much junk in it that you can’t walk on the floor. Trash, debris of all manner fill the house from front to rear. Roaches, filth and junk piled up to the ceiling in some areas. The only path was a “V” cut through the refuse. Complicating matters, this was a basement fire. The engine companies couldn’t advance their lines because of the densely packed trash. This can get very dangerous pretty quickly. The fire continues to burn and grow in intensity while the hose team is hung up inside the house. Needless to say everyone was working furiously.

Further complicating the situation we had reports that the woman was still inside. Firemen were searching through the garbage with thermal cameras for any sign of life. In a house like that you could literally be standing on the victim and not know it. Incredibly the woman was found amidst the debris on the second floor partially buried and ALIVE! Long past the point where I would have thought anyone could have survived she was apparently protected by a pocket of trash. Lucky for her we were able to get enough ventilation for her to have a chance. Last I heard she was in Temple hospital, alive but in unknown condition. If she makes it she will be extremely lucky.

That fire was a three-hour firefight that left me sore and bruised. I slept it off over the next day or so. You usually feel it when your adrenaline subsides. Adding to my list of “things to do” is a couple of term papers for school ( I am taking two classes this semester) and a ton of reading. I’m starting to re-think the wisdom of taking two classes at once.

And finally there is my social calendar. We have two weddings this weekend. My cousin got married last night to of all people a “COP”. Yes we have our black sheep. *snark* Actually Drew is a great guy who is going to be promoted to Lieutenant shortly and LeeAnne made a beautiful bride. Congratulations and best of everything to you both. It now looks like our family is evenly split between cops and firemen, 4-4. Today we are off to the Poconos for another wedding for a friend of ours. Should be another good time. Like I said there never seems to be enough time in a day. In any event the blog must go on!

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2 Responses to WEEK IN REVIEW

  1. Christine says:

    I’ve been anonymously reading your blog for over a year now (linked to your blog from Katey’s Kafe.) Anyway, I’m a Medic Student (don’t ask why, haven’t figured that out yet, lol) and was doing my clinical time in the ER when this woman was brought in. From what I heard and your posting, it’s a miracle she made it out and that none of you guys were injured or killed. I’m back in the ER tomorrow and I’ll check on her status while I’m there. Stay safe.

    • Great to have you reading Christine. Being a medic is as honorable a profession as there is in this world. It’s just that the system is horribly disfunctional. I’d really appreciate any update or info that you can find out about this woman. You can e-mail me if you want. I hope she gets the help she needs. Say Hi to Kate for me!

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