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  1. #1
    TM
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question The Worst Call you have ever been on?

    Time to be honest what is the worst call you have ever been on?. How did you feel afterwards?, Did you feel that there was something more that you could of done?. Does it still bother you today?

    ------------------
    Tim Macias
    TMacias@Firehousemail.com
    Engine 101


  2. #2
    NCFiremedic
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy

    I'd just recieved my medic certificate from the state, but our squad was still running at an Intermidiate level. Called out to possible code blue. Arrived on scene to find one of our members uncle doing CPR on his daughter. She fell of a tractor and he ran over her. She was about 13 mos old. That was three years ago and I still have nightmares.
    Was there more that I could have done? Maybe with more equipment we could have run it longer, but MOI was to much. It could have happened at the doorstep of a pediatric trauma center and I don't think the outcome would have changed.

  3. #3
    DD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    So many that qualify over too many years in fire & rescue. The worst would have to be the loss of a child. The particular loss would be a nine year old neighbor boy who was killed by smoke while attempting to extinguish a fire started by his little brother.

  4. #4
    JAMESBENNETT
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    The call I remember the most was a head on mva where a moter mobile home was hit by a Lincoln Town Car. The mobile home flip and caught fire. We lost a 6 and 3 year in the truck with their grandfather. The grandmother and 11 yr. old were pulled to safety. The Grandmother was burned faily bad, but the 11 yr. old is ok. The two peole in the Town car were both killed. Five fatalities in one wreck is hard to take, but when two babies are involved it stay's with you.

    ------------------
    SERVING FOR PRIDE
    PROUD TO SERVE!

  5. #5
    DED1645
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy

    Probably the worst thing possible is all the time you apply yourself to the service and try to stay as well trained as resources permit and you still feel that you've failed your department, you've failed the community that puts their trust in you and worst of all you feel you failed yourself. We had a working fire at a residence on one side of the town and only about 30 minutes into that assignment we were hit for a trailer home fire on the other side of town. We release with the brush unit and four men. When enroute we recieved that we had confirmed entrapement. Upon our arrival we went into service with a 1 3/4, but realized we only had two packs without any spare bottles. And that the truck only had 250 gallons of water. We were praying that additional apparatus would arrive, but were coming from a nieghboring town. We attempted to extinguish the bulk of the fire enough to search for an elderly man known to live there. Neighbors reported hearing him scream just moments before our arrival. As hot as it was getting. For you who know how fast and hot trailers get it was difficult. We thought we searched the entire trailer. After additional aparatus arrived to assist in the exstinguishing of the fire we reported that we could find no one. As much as instuctors in the academy tell you that people will hide in the strangest places and do the oddest things that they feel at the time will save their lives. We exited reporting that we could not find him. Checked with neighbors if they had seen him come out a window or just seen him. They replied no. By this time the trailer was too involved to send anyone else in to search. During overhaul we found the man in the bath tub filled with water and only his nose was sticking out. We entered the bathroom twice and never reached into the tub. To this day I still can picture that man's face under the water in the tub and think that I was that close and that I should have known to reach in and check. I'll still go by where that trailer used to sit and think about all the what if's. They're are always other stories. Most of them are probably more traumatic, but this one is the one that will always remain.

    ------------------
    David DeCant
    Firefighter/NREMT-B
    New Jersey, USA
    Career or volunteer we are all brothers. Just feel good for the good you do for others.

  6. #6
    mark440
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy

    The worst call, there are WAY too many to calls to write about here. The infants and children are always hard. This past July alone I had 2 infants (1-6 months old 1-5 months old) die on me. The 1st one was a baby that rolled off bed. Was a really hard call. We kept getting PEA, and other false rythms on the way to hospital.
    The second was involved in a crash near the end of July. It was called in as a MVA unknown about 2 miles outside our city. We arrived on-scene and found it to be a small 4-door car with a family of 4 in it head-on with a small Ford E-350 bus carrying 10 handicapped people. The bus was turned on it's side with entrapment to the bus and the car. A bystander had removed the infant from the car and was holding it on the lawn of this yard. The baby was in severe respitory distress. I took the baby and left. The baby was flown to Salt Lake City to Childrens hospital and died the next day. Returned to the scene (took 6 ambulances) and assisted with extrication. The father of the car was in and out of conciousness. The mother and older brother (2 YoM) were killed instantly. The entrapment in the bus died on arrival at hospital. Ended up having 4 dead, dad was flown to SLC and last I heard was still in a coma. That was one of the worst calls I have been on. VERY traumatic. We have had alot of mean calls this year.
    Another call that is still stressful was a house fire that claimed the lives of a mother and a child. The fire was started by the child. Found mom and child in the upstairs closet with a sheet over thier bodies. It was reported as Fire units were enroute that screams could be heard still coming from the house.

    Stay safe,

    Mark

  7. #7
    FireLady70
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    My worst call was before I got involved with FD or EMS. New Years Eve 1993. I was still living at home, Thank God. I woke up about 4am in the morning. I heard my Dad sick in the bathroom. I got up just as my Mom screamed for me. I heard him fall. I called 911 and started CPR. He didn't make it. It was the most helpless time in my life. I felt like I let my Mom down. I had nightmares for months. I decided to make it mean something. Now I am a Paramedic. I don't want that helpless feeling again.

    Other than that I was doing a clinical in the ER. We had a 3y/o come in with a severed foot. He would not let go of me. I spent about 20 minutes in the restroom crying after they took him to the OR. Me and the Nurse.

    ------------------
    You Go, We Go.

  8. #8
    fireman_1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy

    The worst call would have to be on of the deaths of the high school students! One was driving and went left of center and hit a delivery truck and bursted into flames!

  9. #9
    nomad1085
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I can recall 2 over the past year and a 1/2.

    First one was one of my best friends in car wreck. Her jeep hydroplaned and hit a tree sideways with the driver side. She was in traumatic arrest when we arrived and stabalized her to go to the trauma center. She died 2 days later. At the time, both she and I were 17. This was 2 days before the first day of senior year at high school.

    Second, only a few month later, would be a 10 year old boy that accidentally strangled himself with a rope swing in a tree. We didn't know what was going on from dispatch because the mother was so paniced. He was fully coded when we arrived and was never revived. He was the little brother of another student in my grade (senior year in high school). That was a tough one for a lot of us, in the FD and in school.

    I haven't seen anything like this since then, about a year has gone by and I wouldn't mind it staying this way.

  10. #10
    Looper
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    For me personally, the worst one was while on my regular job as a police officer. A car full of college aged kids was driving way too fast down a dark road at 0400 one morning. They couldn't make it around a corner and hit a telephone pole, cutting it in half. The car then hit a large construction type dumpster. The powerlines fell on the car and it caught fire. The nearest fire station was about a half mile away and they were woken up by the sound of their generator starting up when the power went out in the area. When they got to the scene, everything was burning and one of the bodies was still moving. Nothing they could do, since the car, the dumpster, and everything touching them were still energized by the power lines. Once the fire was out and power deactivated, we started looking in the car but couldn't tell for sure how many bodies there were. It wasn't until the M.E. came out and they emptied out the car, that we learned it was 4 people. There was absolutely no ID -- the License plates and VIN plate were both melted. Took over a week to ID them.

    The worst one for the department was probably the wreck on the night of our Christmas party a few years ago. A drunk was trying to get away from an accident, sideswiped an ambulance, then rear ended a car with several women in it. One of the women was pinned in the car (and another dead) and we responded with our rescue truck, having just concluded the party. As we worked to free the trapped victim, some of the guys noticed that dead victim was someone they had gone to school with. Several of the guys had a tough time with it. The drunk tried to run away but was tackled and held by some of the bystanders.

    Still think about 'em (and a bunch of other calls) from time to time, but I don't dwell on it. Nothing I could have done would have changed the outcome.

  11. #11
    CRFD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Worst call

    240SX Vrs Transport Truck

    Her face had the steering wheel inside her skull. We had to pull her out in pieces. It took 1 hr just to cut her out.
    Turns out she was on her way to pick up her two little girls from the sitters and she was late. She had been passing cars when she missed her last pass and plowed head on with the transport truck.
    "Better to arrive late then to never arrive at all"
    Keep that in mind when responding,We all have families to go to after our shift.

  12. #12
    Dr. Law
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Been to some bad fatal wrecks as a police officer but the worst call I ever was on as a firefighter was where a propane tank blew and killed two of our men.

  13. #13
    mfgentili
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    Your most serious call could very well be your next one. Just something to think about. Always be prepared!

    ------------------
    Mike Gentili, Capt.
    New Bedford Fire Dept.

  14. #14
    SFD161
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy

    One of the worst calls I can think of happened this past July. A small boy, two days past his third birthday was left alone in a running automobile. He knocked it out of park and it rolled down a 300 yard hill and ended up in a pond. When it was dispatched, most of us figured we would have to wade out and pull the boy from the car. It was a fairly new pond at a new rural sub-division. The pond turned out to be 25 feet deep. Myself and and a few other ff's tried to dive down to the car but it was just too deep, and too cold at the bottom (50 deg's.)
    Our closest dive team is over 60 minutes away. The first diver arrived after 30 and decided not to wait for his partner. He had the boy out within minutes. We treated it as a cold water drowning and I did compressions for approx 15 minutes until the "bird" landed. I can still see the young parents of the boy standing there in shock, watching us work on their son.

    SIDENOTE: It was discovered that the owner of the car had the safety device unhooked that prevented the car from being shifted out of park without pressure on the brake pedal.

    -------------------------------------------
    Another on was two years ago........holding back a captain on our dept. as the men pulled his elderly parents from what was left of their car after a head-on collision. His mother was killed instantly. 20 years earlier, a car traveling at 100 plus missed a corner and ended up in the basement of a house. He was the first on scene and first to discover that the passenger of the car was his 18 year old son. He also was killed instantly.

    Seeing the pain in his eyes as he was going through this for the second time in his life was almost too much to handle.

    ------------------
    VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER....THE UNPAID PROFESSIONAL

  15. #15
    dousaems
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Seen some nasty stuff in ten years, but one screams out from the past. Got a call for a mutual aid medic unit to a dwelling fire at two in the morning. Middle of winter, it's cold, no snow, but still don't want to get up. Called in, told dispatch to have the rig pick me and my girlfriend (before we got married) up on the way. Once we get on board, I asked the nature. "Cardiac arrest" was the answer. I figured they must be wrong, since I am sure the primary company got at least one of their rigs out. Ten minutes later, we are backing down towards the scene. Too much hose, too many fire rigs, so I hope out, grab the monitor and drug box, and waddle the 350 feet to the scene. Turned the corner and got the shock of my life.....
    three working arrests. The fourth victim was still alive and had been snatched from the scene by the first out rig. My wife still remembers me running back to our rig, pale as a ghost, and calling for two more medic units. Turned out that a wood stove had caused a chimney fire that extended and flashed over. The three year old and five year old were in the room. I called the three year old on the scene (100% third degree), the 5 year old went with the first rig, Mom and Dad got lungsful of smoke and arrested. I transported mom, but couldn't get her back.
    The mother, father and three year old were all called, and the five year old lasted a week and a half. I can still see the smoke rising from the cabin, and remeber turning that corner, seeing five engine crews working on the three victims.

    ------------------
    Todd Dousa
    NREMT-P, CCEMT-P

  16. #16
    apatrol
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Lots of calls stick in my mind when paged to various types of incident. I have two calls that still cause me problems.

    1. Simple highway fender bender car A rear ends car b doing about 35 MPH and launches baby in backseat carseat through the windshield... seems the baby was not liking the seatbelt so Mom unbuckled it

    2. T-bone wreck 20 ton Dumptruck verse small 2 door Cavalier... when we rolled up on the left side of the wreck we where not sure what we had but after we walked to the front we realized the car's passenger compartment was twisted in a half roll under the truck and the engine compartment was sticking out the left side... this truck had a long bumper just like most of our trucks do with a circle blood splatter where the nine year old front passengers head impacted... three dead

    I can guarantee your pumper, ladder, tanker, or whatever can easily be the truck involved in the above incident... Drive like your families life depends on it because it does...

    Still feel like crap when I talk about these calls and every time I see a dump truck I move out of the way...

  17. #17
    fjbfour
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Was about 2AM when we were toned for an MVA just outside of town. As a vol/POC, I was paired with a career paramedic and covering for another career member during a patient transfer, so we had two in the house.

    We took the ambulance out and arrived within a couple of minutes. A small pickup had failed to negotiate a curve on a divided highway, crossed the median and collided nearly head-on with a newer four-door sedan. Airbags in the sedan deployed, 17yof driver also had her seatbelt on. Driver of the pickup, 38yom, drunk as hell, was not belted. He went cleanly through the windshield and was not very close to the wreck any more.

    Upon arrival, the pmedic with me took one look at the car and called for the volunteers coming behind us to step it up. He sent me to the pt on the ground, and headed directly to the car.

    They drunk guy was slightly incoherent, but was still threatening to kill me. I did a quick assessment and found no life-threatening injuries apparent. He was conscious, no broken bones, numerous lacerations and road rash. I left him in custody of an EMT-certified Sheriff's Deputy and went to help with the female driver of the car.

    She was slightly conscious and groaning with pain. Due to the front-left corner impact, the airbag had not done much good, and the car's passenger compartment was crushed sufficient to severely entrap her legs. Worse, the engine was smoking and fuel odor was heavy.

    The rescue and engine arrived in short order, and we got her out before the car could light up. I drove her to the hospital myself, delayed by some punk in a car that didn't want to pull over for an ambulance flashing red and blue on his rear bumper.

    Despite the airbag and seatbelt, she was badly injured. Multiple compound arm and leg fractures and head trauma.

    She coded in the back of the rig before we got to the hospital six miles away. We worked with ER staff for forty minutes to get her back. Even though she was trying to talk to us right after the accident, within 60 minutes she was gone due to the severe head injuries sustained.

    The drunk guy turned out to be as I assessed. No seatbelt or airbag, ejected clean through the windshield, and extent of injuries was cuts and bruises. He walked out of the hospital (to a squad car) less than two hours later.

    Why is it that a girl doing everything right dies, and a guy doing everything wrong lives?

    That one still bothers me.

  18. #18
    FIREFLY2420
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I'VE BEEN ON MANY BAD CAR ACCIDENTS. WEATHER IT IS FATAL OR SERIOUS. THE WORST ACCIDENT I'VE SEEN IS A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT. THE GUY DRIVING THE MOTORCYCLE JUST TRADED HIS $30,000.00 CAR FOR THIS CROCH ROCKET. HE WAS GOING OVER 100MPH WHEN HE CAME OVER A SLIGHT INCLINE THAT HAD A DEAD END. THE MOTORCYCLE WENT AIRBORN. HE STRUCK A TREE ABOUT 10 FT OFF THE GROUND RIPPING HIS LEG OFF AND LEAVING HIS INTESTINES ALL OVER THE TREE AND TALL BUSHES. WHEN WE FINALLY FOUND HIS BODY ABOUT 75-100 YARDS INTO THE WOODS, HE WAS MISSING HIS EYE AND YOU COULD BARELY MAKE OUT HIS FACE. LIKE I SAID I'VE SEEN A LOT OF ACCIDENTS BUT THIS ONE WAS THE MOST GRUSOM. IT JUST SO HAPPENED WE WERE ON OUR WAY BACK FROM A FIRE SAFETY CLASS AND CAME UPON IT ABOUT 1-2MIN AFTER IT HAD HAPPENED. THERE WASNT MUCH WE COULD DO FOR THE GUY OF COURSE. FOR ALL YOU FIREFIGHTERS AND CIVILIANS, YOU NEED TO WATCH YOUR SPEEDS WHEN DRIVING A MOTORCYCLE YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU MAY ENCOUNTER. BE SAFE AND HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY.

    FIREFLY2420
    FIREFIGHTER/MFR
    LYON TOWNSHIP, MI

    REMEMBER WE ARE ALL BROTHERS CARREER/PAID-ON-CALL/VOLUNTEER. WE ALL DO THIS JOB FOR THE SAME REASON "LIFE AND PROPERTY".

    [This message has been edited by FIREFLY2420 (edited 12-04-2000).]

  19. #19
    FDMichiganMan
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy

    Here are two that a buddy of mine told me:

    1) Middle of the night, some guy in a Corvette decides to do doughnuts in the empty parking lot across from the Sheriffs station. When a squad car pulls into the lot to find out what is going on, the guy takes off. Police give chace for a mile or two. The guy was clocked at 130 and the police broke off the chase. The police round a corner and find the car had hit a tree. The car is split in two, only being held together by a wiring harness. When the FD arrives, they notice a childseat in the car. Immediately, a search of the forest begins. One of the FF is searching with a flashlight and steps on something squishy and slips. He was terrified and refused to look down thinking he had stepped on the baby. When other FF were called over, they discovered it was a plastic grabage bag filled with grass clippings. The man died and thankfully the baby was at his girfriends house.

    2) Single vehicle accident, car runs off road and hits a tree. PD arrives and sees a woman rumaging around in the trunk and then shuts it as soon as the PD get close. When they arrive they the woman is injured badly and very drunk. Officer find two small kids in the back seat, although the woman had mentioned nothing about them. In the trunk they found numerous beer and liquor bottles that the woman was trying to hide. Rather than tend to her children, she has the audacity to try to hide the evidence before help arrives. Apparently, the doctors at the hospital had little sympathy and gave her nothing for the pain. The children survived their injuries.

    Eric

  20. #20
    LT601
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We had been dispatched for a reported car fire with exposures. The first unit on scene reported "Car involved, structures heavily involved". When my rig arrived on scene; it was un believable. A mother was screaming for her little boy and firefighters frantically reaching into a fully involved car trying to pull the little one out. I can hear him screaming as I ran to help, when I got there he had fallen into the floor pan and stopped screaming. Later after the rest of the fires were extinguised, I was to help remove him from the bottom of the car. My own litle girl, at the time, was around his age. I was devastated,I had been on numerous calls involving kids before but this was different. I still go back to that day often especially when I hear kids scream. Its makes my the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

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