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As some of you know I was in the fire department for a short time.  I still get emails from one of the "industry" magazines.  Right now the magazine (Firehouse) is sponsoring a fire service convention in San Diego.  Like any industry convention they have several speakers. Yesterday, Northwest Fire/Rescue District Battalion Fire Chief Stu Rodeffer, Fire Chief Jeff Piechura and Firefighter Tony Compagno, a first due / on scene firefighter paramedic, held a class/seminar regarding the shooting of Former Rep. Giffords and the others at the Tucson shopping center.  

Tucson report

Firefighters are always on the lookout for information that will help them do their jobs better and will always share lessons learned from incidents they respond to.  The fire chiefs and firefighter discussed not only the incident but fallout and aftermath that affected the department for months after.  

Some positives during the response was that it was during shift change so more fire department resources were available to respond and that the fire department and the local police and sheriffs department had developed a friendly working relationship which allowed both departments to work together and be able to do their required tasks without getting into turf wars or other infighting. Another positive was that the location of the incident, a shopping center, brought out other professionals, including doctors and nurses, that were offering assistance and had already providing first aid to the victims.  

A couple of negative lessons learned were that helicopter life flights are not always the fastest way to remove patients.  There is a preflight and startup time for the helicopters to get airborne and that is time that can is wasted. The most critical patients ended up going by ground ambulance because the patents could get on the move and be treated enroute much faster.  The other problem was that, being a major crime scene, the FBI, once on scene required everything to be left in place.  According to Battalion Chief Rodeffer:

“We had 60 percent of our gear in there for the whole region and we couldn’t get it out,” Rodeffer said. “I had some choice colorful words for the FBI agents, and was I was told to not talk to the FBI any more and let the chief do it,” Rodeffer said.
You can check the link as to the deal that was made to free the equipment from the FBI lockdown.

An interesting fact was that the department personnel cleared up the rumor that Rep. Giffords was given special treatment.  She was one of the first to leave the scene because of the head wound, nothing more.

The below link was the first report from the incident commanders at the scene and it describes their actions and lessons learned from the incident.

first report after the incident

It is a pity that so many in the government want to destroy the fire departments, as well as other public safety agencies even though they provide the means to save lives and property with skill, knowledge, and courage that the politicians can't comprehend.

Originally posted to SQD35R on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:50 PM PST.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tip jar (32+ / 0-)

    comments/tag edits/ etc. always welcome.

    Two quotes I wish to live by "Strength and Honor" (Gladiator) and "Do or Do Not, There is no Try" (SW-ESB).

    by SQD35R on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:50:16 PM PST

  •  One former firefighter to another: (8+ / 0-)

    Nice work.

    Celtic Merlin
    Carlinist

    Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

    by Celtic Merlin on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:57:43 PM PST

  •  It is the utterly obscene hypocrisy of the GOP (10+ / 0-)

    lauding our first responder's as "real hero's" after 9/11 (and very rightfully so) and then jumping the shark and vilifying them after President Obama was elected. I will never, ever forget the despicable, nauseating performance the Republicans put on during the lame duck session in December 2010 hysterically arguing against the passage of a bill to help the first responder's and every worker who lived at Ground Zero for a year and had developed debilitating and sometimes deadly health issues because Christine Todd-Whitman declared the area "safe" and of course it was anything but. Those men and women deserved every bit of help we could give to them and then some but the Republicans fought tooth and nail to deny them any help whatsoever. The true soul of the Republican party was bared naked for the world to see that day and it was hideously ugly.

    I was in a serious car accident in 2011, near rollover after my Explorer lost to a very large deer (the deer lived, the Explorer didn't..) and my side curtain airbag deployed, not that I have any memory of that. I was briefly unconcious and when I came to, I had no idea what had happened, my glasses had been knocked off and landed in the cargo area, I couldn't find my cell phone and I knew from the pain in my lower back I was in trouble. Luckily another driver saw my car (it was a rural wooded road) and called 911.I had a fractured L1 vertebra and was in a lot of pain and not making a whole lot of sense and was scared to death but as soon as the firefighter's and paramedics got there, I knew I was going to be okay. It took them a long time to get me out, but every single one of them was amazing and I will be forever appreciative for the care and concern they gave to me that day.I always appreciated what they did on an intellectual level, now I understand it on a visceral one.

    "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

    by mindara on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:44:13 PM PST

    •  true. Another crime is that Dems don't point this (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D, The Marti, mindara, DvCM, gc10

      out. We dont' point out hypocrisy OVER AND OVER again each time there is an example of it.

      •  I do...I scream it out from the rooftops...I think (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote

        the sheer magnitude of the number of vile hypocritical actions by the GOP and the way they just dropped any pretense of being THE responsible adults in the room and are so blatant about it makes it impossible to fully vent all the despicable things they've done. There are just not enough hours in the day.

        "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

        by mindara on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:28:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What about the (now former) firefighter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gc10, PSzymeczek

    who refused to go on the ER call because he didn't like Gifford's politics?  Afterward, instead of facing punishment, he was allowed to retire on full pension.
      Don't paramedics have some sort of hypocratic oath like doctors, so that they're required to attend to sick and wounded regardless of political, religious, et al beliefs?

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:41:05 PM PST

    •  never a paramedic but an EMT (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, PSzymeczek

      Emergency Medical Technician- basically an advanced first aid and can do a few invasive things, but no drugs or heart care.  

      I don't think they have a hypocratic oath like doctors but are expected to work on a patient regardless of the patient.  If he was on duty he should have responded, if not should have been disciplined.  I am not familiar with the details so I can't comment, but a fire department is a paramilitary organization and orders are to be followed.  

      Maybe another kossack can comment.

      Two quotes I wish to live by "Strength and Honor" (Gladiator) and "Do or Do Not, There is no Try" (SW-ESB).

      by SQD35R on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:11:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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