“We had to climb over – there was all kinds of debris – we had to climb over what I thought was a desk, and then we came across that, it may have been a pallet full of building materials somewhere along the lines, and when a Coke machine went floating by, I knew it was kind of getting pretty serious.” – Firefighter Paul
There are numerous places a firefighter might expect to use water rescue training but, for Paul, the basement of a hospital wasn’t one of them. Yet, when five inches of rain fell swiftly on his community in 2020, Paul and his team found themselves wading through chest-high water in a hospital cafeteria to search for three people who were reportedly trapped. As the mission evolved, first responders realized flooding at the building’s lowest point wasn’t the only threat, and water damage on all three floors, coupled with the loss of electricity, necessitated a more complex response.
Join former firefighter/paramedic and host Phil Klein as he shares the mic with Paul, who has been a firefighter/EMT for 19 of his 27 years in public service. When a 100-year flood caused major damage to an area hospital, Paul found himself relying on lessons from a multitude of trainings to navigate a scene for which there is no specific preparation. He encourages other first responders to take advantage of any training available to them in order to give themselves the best chance at succeeding in an unforeseeable situation.
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