If you look closely at the video, you will see the roof of one of the buildings flying through the air. Sadly, as reported, one PGW worker was killed. As it turns out he was a young man who was friends with the daughter of one of the firefighters at my station. Philly is a small town like that. It’s not rare to meet a complete stranger and after talking with them for a few minutes you both realize you know one or two of the same people.
My station responded to this incident as more alarms were struck following the explosion. Our Medics transported the victim and were so shaken that they had to be taken out of service for the remainder of the shift. Even for battle tested street medics, an incident like this will shake you up. This morning as we got a play by-play account of the job, we found out that once again it was extremely lucky we didn’t lose a half a dozen or more firefighters. They moved away shortly before the blast. The other PGW workers are in the hospital, still fighting to recover. Say a prayer for them and their families.
This incident is a sad example of how misguided the Nutter administration’s policies are when it comes to emergency services. This has to be about the sixth extra alarm fire in the past month and the seventh fire death of the year. Incidents like this are why you must have sufficient companies trained and ready to go. In a big city with an old infrastructure, things go wrong sometimes. The fire department keeps them from getting worse.
By and large the PGW employees we work with always do a first-rate job. They are knowledgeable, professional and quick to respond when there is an emergency. We are always glad to see them. So today while I was working you can imagine how we all felt when we were called out for a reported gas leak. Smelling natural gas as we walked up the street was just a bit unnerving after the events of last night.
And once again the PGW worker arrived and went to work just like every other day. Hats off to the crews of PGW. God bless.