05/31/08 95 W, 1 I - + 9 - 11 Raleigh Firefighters Rescue Two Elderly People

WRAL is reporting on this morning's fire in the center unit of a condo at 8000 Brown Bark Place. Engine 16 first on scene with fire through the roof of a wood-frame, one-story, four-unit townhouse building with approximately 4,500 square-feet. Crews rescued two elderly subjects, one minutes before a ceiling collapse, and both transported and reported in stable condition. Alarm time around 3:30 a.m. C shift companies and units included E16, E18, E15, E4, L16, R14, B4, B1, C5, C20, C10, EMS 123, EMS 5, EMS D1, EMS T1. Good job, guys and gals.

Dispatched approx 03:11. E16 1st on scene. Add E9 also (5 engines on the 1st alarm), and Six Forks had another EMS unit on scene and EMS3 (4 EMS total). Later into the fire, extra engine and ladder were called for relief. Sounded good.
lee - 05/31/08 - 17:11

My hats off to the crews at this fire, some work an entire career and do not have the opportunity to make a rescue, let alone 2 at the same incident. Congrats on a job well done. It’s nice to recieve the cardiac save award but it is unfortunate we dont have some sort of award to present to Raleigh’s Bravest for a "fire save".
Again, congrats to the companies on Brown Bark Pl.
7driver - 06/01/08 - 14:39

Also a tremedous job keeping the fire contained to the inside unit, especially with fire venting through the roof on arrival. All personnel on scene were clearly on their A-game keeping the fire from spreading to either of the adjacent units. Impressive work!
wake ff - 06/01/08 - 20:09

Good job Bro’s…..as far as the awards go, it’s being worked on already.
Silver - 06/01/08 - 20:13

Thers is….It’s called the “Firehouse Heroism Award” Submit the crew for the award thru Firehouse Magazine….Great job by some of Raleigh’s finest…..
Jim - 06/02/08 - 10:00

It’s easy enough for individual departments, or perhaps the Fire Commission, to create an awards program fire firefighting acts, much like the EMS system awards program that includes the cardiac arrest save pins.

Just make sure that you order the same size bars, so that they can be worn together!


Chief 100
Skip Kirkwood (Email) (Web Site) - 06/02/08 - 15:12

We (RFD) currently have a few people that are hard at work, looking at this. I’ve already passed a proposal on to one of the members, certain bars representing different awards and the criteria for each. Hopefully something will be out soon.

Jim, I’ve already started the process. It’s time we put ourselves on the map. Too many times things like this happen, and we pat each other on the back but that’s where it ends. I know of rescues in Durham and Raleigh within the year, time to be recognized like the rest of our Brothers and Sisters.
Silver - 06/02/08 - 17:49

I would like to thank everyone for all the compliments my crew has received. Captain Gary Amato, FF John Mitchell, and myself from E16 were fortunate enough to have the opportunity pull Ms. Parsons out of the condo that was on fire. As the parking brake was engaged L16’s crew answered the desperate call from the occupant of the neighboring condo that his elderly invalid mother-in-law was trapped in the smoke filled room. We all went home that morning some what stunned over what had taken place. Yesterday At station 16 we were surprised with a visit from Ms. Parson and her two daughters. She gave us all a big hug and thanked all of us for what we did. We sat and talked for a half hour or so and took pics of course. We were amazed at how well she looked and was able to speak due to the heat and smoke she was exposed to. She showed us the hand prints that had formed bruises under her arms where I had grabbed her to carry her out and she said she had only two small burns on her back. She was a sweet and very funny lady. Everyone should know that E16 was not the only ones that saved Ms. Parson. When we got her in the front yard I was spent. Lt Roof from E15 was the first face I seen and I yelled for him to help us. He and his crew without hesitation began patient care until EMS took over. EMS as usual performed flawlessly. Ms. Parsons owes her life to a long line of people it just began with us. I am extremely proud of my crew and all the other firefighters in Raleigh because I know if they had been in our shoes there would have been the same outcome. Stay safe!
Fox (Email) - 06/04/08 - 14:28

It’s become so common to hear incidents where things go bad…so it’s sure good to hear of one that went well.
So big props to the responders on this call. Keep up the good work.
attic.rat (Email) - 06/04/08 - 15:05

First off, it’s our job to perform rescues. In fact, it’s our number one priority. Second, why do we need recognition? Is it a way to say, “Hey, I’m better than you because I have a pin.”? Those who have actually performed such a rescue or have a real code save know that there isn’t any recognition needed since there isn’t a better feeling than actually knowing you saved a life. So I say trash the pin idea. We are all in it together. Some of us just have a special memory in our heart for a job well done.
RescueRanger - 06/04/08 - 21:30

You can say “trash the pin idea” all you’d like. I’ll say Wake EMS has done an outstanding job with their recognnition ceremony. I’m honored that they included us with their program. My vote is for a full ceremony each year. Recognize the cops, the medics, and the fire personnel for their significant achievements over the year. A majority of citizens are uneducated as to what we encounter and what we do over time. It’s time for the press to be involved, and put some positive information out there about what we do.

It seems the press is so quick to put out when a fireman is supposedly guilty of DWI, or a cop gets accused of misconduct. Invite them to the event, and show everyone what goes on in this area. Maybe people won’t be so quick to gripe when we ask for a little more money that might raise taxes a hair.
Silver - 06/04/08 - 22:03

I normally do not say this but I agree with Silver 110%. It is our job to effect a rescue. It is also nice to recognize the efforts of the ones that do. It is a soliders job to go to war and fight and put their life on the line with the possibility of getting injured or killed. We reward them. I do not do this job for the recognigtion but will not turn down praise when it is due.
Apex BattChief - 06/04/08 - 22:17

First, great job on the save to all the folks that were involved!
Silver and RR- I agree with both of you. I have a few cardiac save pins…I probably will not wear them, it’s not my nature. Wearing the uniform is enough for me. As for the ceremony, it is a good thing even if only to give those saved a chance to say thanks to those who helped them.
firedriver - 06/04/08 - 22:25

Glad to see that you put your “beef” to the side, Apex….
Silver - 06/04/08 - 22:25

Sorry I couldn’t make it to take some pictures. :(
lee - 06/05/08 - 00:21

How about if the agencies get together and look at the program so that the bars are coordinated and we know what they mean? The ones that are common to everybody (like cardiac arrest saves) could be the same, the ones unique to the agency could be unique, etc. A “medal of valor” should be a medal of valor so that, like the military, you can “read” someone’s awards and tell at a glance where they’ve been and what they’ve done.

EMS has a program that we will share and we will work with anybody who wants to collaborate.

Skip Kirkwood (Email) (Web Site) - 06/05/08 - 09:18

I continue to do this job because I still enjoy it (well, also since I have been doing it so long it is too late to do anything else). I am not in it for the recognition that a commendation bar or badge represent. Sometimes the ribbons truly mean something, sometimes they are nothing but a matter of timing. Every day we do our jobs, and 99.999% of the time we do them flawlessly. Does the seasoned paramedic or engine company that works ten full arrests without a save deserve any less recognition than the less-than-seasoned paramedic that gets a save their first time out? Of course not. And I believe someone said it here, some firefighters go through an entire 30+ year career without ever making a ‘save’ like the one that is the original subject of this blog entry. Shoot, in 32 years of fire and EMS, I had one save until I came here.

So why do we have the recognition ceremonies and rows upon rows of ribbons and badges?

There are those amongst us that do crave the recognition. We all know the ones. Call it a character flaw, if you like. There are also many of us, including those that will deny it, that do appreciate the pat on the back that the awards represent. Everyone likes to hear “way to go!” once in a while.

But the other part of it, and to me the most important part, is the impression that it makes on the PUBLIC. No one can deny that the rows of ribbons on General Colin Powell’s, General Norman Schwarzkopf’s, or Major Richard Winters’ (Co E, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Div, of “Band of Brothers” fame) uniforms inspires confidence in their abilities.
But if most people actually knew what a lot of the military’s ribbons are for…Heck, I have an Army Achievement Medal for a “pig picking” that I set up for one of my units. Some of them represent attendance at a school, others just staying out of trouble for a set period of time. Still others, like that National Defense Medal, simply say “I was in the military when…”

Then there is the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, or the Combat Medical Badge.

But the public does not know that. They have images in their minds of soldiers charging through machine gun fire, dodging IEDs, parachuting out of aircraft, etc. I had ‘jump wings’ on my uniform. It did not mean I was ‘airborne’, just that I had been to the school. But the public did not know that.

We know what we do. The public does not. They have only a vague idea. But they do like to know that their firefighters and paramedics and police officers are “heroes”, for lack of a better term. For the EMS folks, they see the blue bar (whether or not it has a star on it) and their imagination takes over from there (it just means you have a degree). They see the red and white bar, or the pink and blue with a Star of Life on it (field OB delivery), or any of the others, and sometimes they just wonder. Unless they ask (and they seldom do) they can only imagine what they were for.

If nothing else, it inspires a little confidence on their part in who we are and what we do.

From that standpoint, and that one alone, wear the ribbons. We’re not trying to impress each other (well, maybe some are). For me, I don’t need the recognition. I don’t have anything to prove to any of you. But if it improves John Q. Public’s view of us and gives him a little more confidence in who we are and what we do, then so be it.

DJ - 06/05/08 - 10:13

It doesn’t improve anything with the public because, just like you said, they have no idea what it means and seldom ask. What the public does know is that firefighters run into burning buildings, put out the fire, and rescue people. Just like “closest unit response”, they don’t care who’s coming because “we are all the same”. The pins are only admired by the folks who know what they mean and the ones who so badly want to wear one wants others to know that they’ve got a save.
RescueRanger - 06/05/08 - 17:51

We’ll just have to disagree….
Silver - 06/05/08 - 19:13

Hmmm…like Silver says, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
DJ (Email) - 06/05/08 - 21:17

I guess i would have to agree with RescueRanger and DJ. I am not a fan of individual ribbons and honors with the only exception being the ultimate sacrifice. On the other hand i do think PR is very important for the fire dept. and alot of people now days have to have some sort of affirmation for a job well done to motivate them in their job, so giving them a ribbon for an at-a-boy can serve both purposes. For me personally getting a (job well done) by my peers would mean much more to me than a ribbon by my admin. But if it improves how our department looks in the publics eye then so be it let them have their ceremonies and ribbons.

Outstanding job to Raleigh C-shift and EMS for their work at the fire and for making us proud.
Gen3fire - 06/06/08 - 09:54

No one has ever asked me what any of my ribbons were for, military or now (EMS). The military folks know what they are for. So do the EMS people. But I HAVE seen the occasional patient or family member looking at them when I did wear them (which is occasionally, usually when my wife puts the stuff on my shirt since she thinks they are more important than I do.

But I do remember the day an older gentlemen reached up and touched them with his finger and said something like “Looks like you’ve been decorated, I see. Good job.” Later found out he had been awarded the Medal of Honor during WWII, along with a Navy Cross and several others. It was humbling that he considered me to be in his league.

Of course, I am a ‘baby boomer’. I just do it because it has to be done.

According to the research, the Generation X and Y crowd, along with the “millenums”, have to constantly be told what a good job they are doing. They’re the ones who grew up in the “Mr Rogers” era where everyone has to feel good about themselves and everyone gets a participation trophy and certificate.
DJ - 06/06/08 - 10:27

Well, I know some in our line of work have the mentality that “if I don’t say anything, that means you’re doing a good job”. Which translates to; “I’m only going to tell you when you mess up” is such an old school, lack of training type mentality.

I’d rather see the company, versus the individual, receive commendations. Not Jim Doe, Joe Smith, Tom Jones saved someone, but Engine Company 35 performed meritorious acts to save a trapped subject in a burning house. That’s just me…..
Silver - 06/06/08 - 10:57

We’re in this together folks, as a COMPANY, not as an individual. When we save someone, we do it as a COMPANY, so the COMPANY should be recognized.
Silver - 06/06/08 - 11:02

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