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Thread: Off duty firefighters and civilians make a rescue...

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default Off duty firefighters and civilians make a rescue...

    A tip of the leather to these brave and selfless individuals...

    12/23/2012 6:01:00 AM
    Golden Valley rescuers pull woman from burning home seconds before flashover
    Suzanne Adams
    Daily Miner Staff Reporter


    It was the strange behavior of his horses that first alerted Paul Bissonette Jr. to the fire that was engulfing the home behind his.

    "I went out to feed them and they were acting all crazy. I think they were trying to get my attention," he said. "As soon as I saw the fire, I started yelling for my wife to call 911."

    Bissonette is a member of the Mavericks, a Golden Valley Neighborhood Watch group. Neighborhood Watches are groups of neighbors who keep an eye on each other's property and a look out for any suspicious characters who might enter their neighborhood.

    Bissonette made a beeline for the back bedroom of the home on Maverick and Destiny Way and broke out one of the windows.

    "I heard this blood-curdling scream," he said. "I started calling her. The smoke was so thick, so black I could hardly see her. I kept telling her to stay on the ground and crawl toward my voice."

    The woman finally made it to the window, and Bissonette was able to grab hold of her hands, but he couldn't lift her out because of his bad back and the windows of the trailer were too high.

    "I just couldn't do it. The smoke was starting to billow really badly and then she went silent. She wasn't responding to me any more," he said. "I thought was going to watch her die right in front of me."

    It was at that moment that Robert Davies arrived on the scene. Davies is also a member of the Mavericks and had spotted the smoke from his home on Mobile and Burro Drives.

    "At first I thought it was someone burning brush, but when the flames started reaching the roof I hopped in my truck and drove over to see what was happening," he said. "When I got there, people were screaming, 'She's in there! She's in there!'"

    Davies ran around to the back of the home and found Bissonette barely hanging on to the woman. Using a stepladder that was leaning against the house, Davies, dressed in shorts, jumped through the broken window headfirst into the woman's bedroom.

    "It was the only thing I could do. I couldn't just sit there and watch someone die," he said, tears welling in his eyes.

    Once inside the burning home, Davies was able to get the woman to her feet and support her so she could put her face to the windowsill and get fresh air. But the two men still couldn't get her out of the burning home. The windows were too high inside the bedroom and Davies couldn't get enough leverage to lift her out.

    "She's kind of a large woman," he said.



    Breaking the rules

    Off-duty fire Capt. Steve Winn also responded to the scene but was unable to help because he didn't have any equipment and the fire was too fierce.

    "We are trained not to go in, unless we have the right equipment," Golden Valley Fire Chief Tom O'Donohue said, his voice still raspy from the smoke hours after the fire.

    He ended up violating his own rule.

    O'Donohue was the second firefighter to respond to the fire. He said the call for a structure fire on Maverick and Destiny Way came in around 7:35 a.m. As soon as he ran out of the district's administration building door, he spotted a thick column of black smoke rising in the air about a mile away.

    "When I arrived I thought the whole house was involved," he said. "People were yelling to me that there was someone in the house. I thought we were going to have to do a body recovery."

    O'Donohue started to do a quick run around the building to determine how bad the fire was, how he would get in and where the firefighters would attack the fire once the fire trucks arrived. As he came around the back corner of the house he spotted the two men outside the window and he could barely see the woman and Davies inside. The bedroom was the only room in the house that wasn't on fire, he said.



    The orange glow of fire

    O'Donohue called for firefighters to meet him at the back corner of the house for an immediate rescue and then, dressed in his turnout gear and without an oxygen bottle, he dived in the window.

    "I knew we only had seconds get both of them out," he said. "The fire hadn't broken into the room yet but I could see it licking around the top of the door. I thought we were going to have two patients."

    Once inside, the smoke was so thick that O'Donohue and Davies could hardly see. They broke out a second window near a bed that was in a better position for them to lower the woman out of the home.

    As they struggled to move the woman across the room to the new window, Davies said he could see the orange glow of the fire under the door and flames starting to sneak in through the gap at the top of the door and crawl across the ceiling.

    O'Donohue noticed it too and with a mighty heave from both men they lifted the woman up and through the window, head-first down a ladder to Winn. He caught her and eased to the ground. Davies was right behind.

    "I felt kind of bad because we just kind of tossed her out the window head-first, but it was the only thing we could do," Davies said.

    As he left the room he could see that the flames had spread about halfway across the ceiling. O'Donohue had barely cleared the window on the way out when the room flashed over and flames shot out the window.

    A flashover is where the heat and flames from a fire get so hot that everything in the room suddenly catches fire.

    "Flames rolled through the top half the window," Bissonette said.

    According to call logs, it took about seven minutes from the time the call reached dispatch to when the men finally got the woman out of the house.

    "It seemed like an eternity," Bissonette said.

    "We strongly discourage people from doing something like this," O'Donohue said. "But without help from these men, that woman would have been dead. It was an amazing rescue.

    "I don't use this word often, but these men truly are heroes. Thirty seconds later and she would have been dead."



    Team effort

    "Please, don't call me a hero. You guys are the heroes," Davies said, referring to O'Donohue and his firefighters.

    "It was a team effort. I couldn't have done it without him and he couldn't have done it without me," Davies said.

    The woman and O'Donohue were transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation. He said the woman was coherent and talking when she was loaded into the ambulance.

    The hospital let O'Donohue go after drawing some blood and leaving 12 sticky patches on his skin from a heart monitor.

    The fire required three engines, two water tenders, 15 firefighters, the chief and deputy chief to put it out. The home is a complete loss. A fire marshal is picking through the debris to determine the cause.

    Davies said although he was scared out of his mind, he would do it again.

    "If I see something like this again, I have no choice. I have to help," he said. "I don't know how you guys do this."

    "Yeah, well, we're not the brightest bunch," O'Donohue joked. "But seriously, we love serving our community. I know many of the men, if they didn't have families to support, would volunteer. They love the community that much. This is our reward for training every day, being able to save a life, and that's what these men did."
    That, ladies and gentlemen is what the job is about!
    FyredUp, FF715MRFD, Chenzo and 1 others like this.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY


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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Great job to the neighbors and firefighters that made this rescue. It is the true spirit of community and of the finest traditions of the fire service.

    A job well done!!
    FF-Andy likes this.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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    Bravo Zulu, Well done gentlemen!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Great job to the neighbors and firefighters that made this rescue. It is the true spirit of community and of the finest traditions of the fire service.

    A job well done!!
    Amen!! Great to hear!

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    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    I take it this place isn't in Bossier Parish.

    A big shout out to these folks who believe that helping one's fellow man is an obligation and not a nuisance to be avoided whenever possible.
    RyanK63 likes this.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    A big shout out to these folks who believe that helping one's fellow man is an obligation and not a nuisance to be avoided whenever possible.
    I think he should be reprimanded immediately. How dare he potentially place his fellow responders further into harms way with his careless actions. And how dare he place others lives before his own. The nerve of it!!!!!
    RyanK63 likes this.
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    Forum Member RyanK63's Avatar
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    Great job to all involved. Nice to see some people still have a pair.
    "If it was easy, someone else would of done it already." - Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

    - Firefighter 1 / HAZMAT Ops / EMT-B

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    Awesome!!!!

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    Another thread designed to draw me in.

    Personal decisions.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Another thread designed to draw me in.

    Personal decisions.
    And once again you fell for it because your narcissistic need for attention just wouldn't let you let it go.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    The lunacy of some unselfish types. When is that madness of putting a fellow human first for the sake of saving a life going to end?





    FyredUp and DeputyChiefGonzo like this.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Another thread designed to draw me in.

    Personal decisions.
    I was drawn in once...it was traumatic for me.

    It was a nice day to be alive, the sun was shining the birds were chirping. I was taking a leisurely stroll down Parkway boulevard when I was approached by a beautiful woman. You know the type that was all legs and a set of funbags that created a vapor vortex when she walked. She told me I was a handsome young man, and at 18 years old, I agreed with her.

    After a brief conversation she invited me back to her place for some cartoons and beer. How could I resist, I was drawn in. Soon she was touching me in my pants, and giving me beer , she said it was Micky's with a slip. I had never had that before, it tasted a little bitter. After about an hour I started feeling woozy, then I blacked out...I guess.
    I woke up some time later, naked in her bed, it was either my vision, or it was extremely hazy in her room. I glanced over to the light coming out of the bathroom and saw her standing there taking a leak. Then I heard a mans voice in the bathroom. Needless to say, I freaked out, grabbed my clothes and made for the door.

    I'll never know exactly what happened for that time. But I do know that my butt ached for two days, and I'll never drink Micky's with or without a slip.

    My advice to you Mr. LAFE is, don't let yourself get drawn in to things, you'll only come out of it with a sore azz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    And once again you fell for it because your narcissistic need for attention just wouldn't let you let it go.
    Naaaaa,.

    Just a need to respond to a personal attack.

    Again, I hope these folks had a backup plan for their families if they were severely injured or killed. Personal choices. Personal consequences.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Another thread designed to draw me in.
    Emission Accomplished.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Personal decisions.
    Yes. Real firefighters perform the actions detailed in the article. Faux firefighters like yourself justify looking the other way.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Bobby... I started the thread and had absolurely no intention of drawing you in; I like to post stories of people doing heroic things for their fellow man, it renews my faith in mankind.

    Frankly, I find your participation in any thread to be detrimental to the spirit and mission of the fire service and rather boring. You add nothing to a conversation and have never put forth an new idea

    You posted in this thread as a "personal choice"... don't try to make yourself a "martyr" here based on YOUR choice.
    SPFDRum, FyredUp, FWDbuff and 1 others like this.
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    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Bobby... I started the thread and had absolurely no intention of drawing you in; I like to post stories of people doing heroic things for their fellow man, it renews my faith in mankind.

    Frankly, I find your participation in any thread to be detrimental to the spirit and mission of the fire service and rather boring. You add nothing to a conversation and have never put forth an new idea

    You posted in this thread as a "personal choice"... don't try to make yourself a "martyr" here based on YOUR choice.
    LIKE PLUS INFINITE!! Or to quote the distinguished Chief Gonzo "BING FREAKING O!!"
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    Thanks for the story. We need to hear more of this kind of action.
    We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFDMAXX View Post
    Thanks for the story. We need to hear more of this kind of action.
    You're quite welcome sir.


    Wait, were you referring to the story the Chief put up?
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post

    My advice to you Mr. LAFE is, don't let yourself get drawn in to things, you'll only come out of it with a sore azz.
    Hopefully you wear a white shirt at work.

    However, I like to think that this is you in your leisure time:

    http://www.hell.tv/t/videos/16347/wa...er-firefighter

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firepundit View Post
    Hopefully you wear a white shirt at work.

    However, I like to think that this is you in your leisure time:

    http://www.hell.tv/t/videos/16347/wa...er-firefighter
    Now that was thinking outside of the box!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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