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The Worst Call you have ever been on?

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  • #31
    It's funny. The worst call I've been on wasn't even a call with my department. I was driving on I-70 West to Indianapolis for a concert, and saw the eastbound lanes blocked by something, and a bunch of cars in the median. I pulled over and saw a two car accident on the eastbound side, and about a dozen cars that had pulled over to help. No emergency crews were on scene yet, just an Indiana DOT truck. I jumped out and saw a middle-aged women on the ground, who I leanred later was the mother of the two children also in the car. She was DOA, even though there was nobody on the scene to legally pronounce her. It was pretty obvious: no pulse, breathing, or movement. Before I got there, I guess people had tried to revive her but failed. One little girl was on the grass crying. There was a nurse and some other people attending to her. The other girl was still pinned in the car by the seat. No one had any tools for extrication, not even a crowbar. Indiana State Police showed up and didn't really have any idea on what to do either. Our only choice was to keep trying until the FD arrived. Another 10 minutes passed and finally a mini-pump and an ambulance arrived. I knew that the girl on the ground had a chance of having internal bleeding or other major injuries, though nothing external. They loaded her first. After another 5 mins, an engine arrived. At this point there were about 35 people on the scene, mostly people who had stopped and helped. I decided that the people who knew what to do were there and that I would just add to the confusion and left. There was nothing left anyone could do, really. Once they got the girl in the car out, it was more or less over. I got back in my car and drove off. Today, I think I should have done more in assisting with the scene. But, given the amount of people there, I still think that not adding to the congestion of the scene by leaving was the best move. The rest of the drive to Indy, I had to keep telling myself that there was nothing that I could do that anyone else did. That incident has stuck in my mind and probably will be there forever.

    ------------------
    DFD Company 18
    "The Clubhouse"

    [This message has been edited by DFDco18 (edited 03-19-2001).]

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    • #32
      Two calls come to mind that I still think about.

      6 years ago we were auto-called mutual aid to a structure fire on the edge of our district. We recognized the address as that of one of our firefighters. Our first out truck was first on scene within 5 minutes and found the house fully involved, fire venting out every opening. Family members were outside screaming that there were people still inside. Unfortunately there was absolutely no chance of even attempting a rescue, fire had taken hold of the entire structure, anyone inside was long gone. I still remember feeling totally powerless, knowing there were people inside that I knew, and having their family members screaming and hanging on us begging us to do the impossible. We lost 6 people in that fire, including one of our members.

      The second call involved a 7 yr old boy who got off the school bus with his brother. After the bus had moved up the road, he darted into the road behind it, right into the path of an 18 wheeler coming the other way. He wound up being run over by the duals of the trailer, never had a chance. Covering the body, coupled with the brother having witnessed the accident, the arrival of their mother shortly afterwards, and the poor truck driver, it was one of the most stressful and emotionally painful scenes I've ever been involved in.

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      • #33
        About 4 years ago we got a call about 2am for a 2 week old unresponsive. We rolled the ambulance in about 90secs got to the scene walked in the door to find the family so distraught that they never acknowledged our arrival, one of our other members was already doing cpr. The baby was gray and lifeless tried everything but nothing worked.
        I've got 3 kids, that hit home hard. That call is one that just stays with you.

        ------------------
        Put The Wet Stuff on The Red Stuff

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        • #34
          I have been on a few bad ones and the worst for me so far has been a 5 year old kid who sneezed in the middle of the night, rupturing his tonsilitis stitches. He drowned in his own blood and by the time we got there (rural area, 8-10 min away) there was nothing that could be done. When we tried to get an airway, there was too much blood and we couldn't suction enough. That was the worst for me.

          It has not happened to me, but I cannot imagine if a fellow firefighter I knew perished in the line of duty. My heart goes out to the guys in Phoenix and now I see 2 more died in Missouri. I cannot imagine the pain involved and my condolences go to all the family and brother firefighters.

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          • #35
            Gosh, take your pick.

            Probably the worst was about a year ago. I was in a different FD's jurisdiction in my county and heard them dispatched to an MVA with a child run over. I was less than a mile away and arrived to find a 21-mo old boy backed over by Schwan's truck (frozen food delivery) at his babysitter's house.

            He was chasing after a cat as the truck left after making a delivery. Evidently the driver must have been checking his right side mirror as the boy ran through his view in the left side mirror. The driver was utterly distraught; he was pretty tight with the little boy and couldn't speak as I entered the house.

            Three images stick with me from that event.

            When the truck came into view, I could see the tiniest little shape under it. I prayed it wasn't the victim, but of course it turned out to be. It looked so small, I could have believed it was a cat.

            As I arrived, the babysitter's husband could just point toward the truck where the child lay. He was clutching his own son so tightly and just walking down the road to a neighbor's house, just wanting to get his son away from there and feeling such agony and relief at the same time--the pain of the little boy's death mixed with gratitude for his own son's safety.

            Finally, I will never forget that tiny little body lying so still under that truck. I had run down with my EMT bag and crouched to see what I could do, but there was no question he was gone.

            My own daughter was 15 months old at that time. I found her as soon as I could and gave her the biggest squeeze I could muster.

            We all drive such big vehicles. Please, friends, glue your eyes to your mirrors. Back in to driveways, not out. And remember that your children and all children are a gift from God, never to be taken for granted.

            I've rambled, but I feel better. Thanks for the ears.

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            • #36
              Out of almost 11 years as a vol. firefighter I've seen things no one should see. I have been lucky enough not to see any children or family (by the grace of God).

              The worst I've seen...US Air flight 427. There were 260+ people and a Boeing 737 shreaded. There were bodies in the trees...in the ditches...everywhere you looked. In chunks the size of a dime to dismembered torsos. They were everywhere! It was a real life horror movie. Complete destruction...complete helplessness. Would I go thought it again if I could have saved one person...ABSOLUTELY!

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              • #37
                The two worst calls of my life where
                the first call i ever went on was a 13 yr old with cystic fibros
                the second was a mva st that killled two friends the driver was drunk and we did not know that he had a passenger until we tryed to roll the dash and found him
                really did not do much on call cause was there after all went to hospital but my dad worked it
                sad still
                2197 stay safe and have fun

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                • #38
                  sorry forget i posted earler

                  [This message has been edited by Firefighter2197 (edited 03-30-2001).]

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                  • #39
                    Worst call I've been on was a Apartment Fire I was and still am pretty new at EMS and Brand new at the fire service..1 week ive been on. and Ive only started riding EMs in December and only road about 15 calls and this call was on January 14 .but anyway back to my to my story...It all began on a quiet Sunday af ternoon, tone goes out for a routine chest pain run at a local nursing home...on our way back to the Building General alarm tones go in for Both squads on each side of town...Fire alarm activation with smoke condition...we were responding waiting to be cancelled for a burnt cooking call...But as we get closer to the scene fire trucks are parked all over hte place..still we see no smoke..so we pull up in the parking lot...EMS command tells us to grab a Cot and stair chair and our Medical bag..and stage in the lobby..So as i'm walking along hte sidewalk bag over my shoulder..pushing the stretcher observing all of whats going on...firemen packing up...tower ladder putting its ladder up to the roof..but nothing seemed that important no one really seemed to be in a rush...so We get into the lobby..Bells ringing lights flashing..I'm like this is pretty cool..this is my first fire call...EMs command tells my crew to head to the 3rd floor stairwell standby for a possible Burn victim so ok..at this point I'm really nervous cause I smell the smoke..and there is a light smoky haze in the lobby..Many of the occupants of hte senior citizen home are located in the rec room...we walk into the stairwell..water starts dripping from everyone..its past my shoes it just got me mad cause it was my new pair....and if this was a BS injury I was gonna be ****ed...so we get to the 3rd floor...firemen heading into the smoke filled hallway..lines hooked up to the standpipe...so we are up there for a minute or 2 and are getting ready to head down a flight of stairs to the 2nd floor do to the amount of water and smoke now pouring into the stairwell..All I remember is they opened the hallway door and seen just a wall of white and the firemen disapppearing into it...my feet are still submerged in the water and i'm getting ready to go downstairs and all of a sudden you heard alot of screaming coming from the hallway..and lots of banging 2 firemen come running out of hte hallway screaming ...so I'm ready to haul *** down stairs thinking there was a gas leak..or somethin was ready to blow up etc...No..what happens next is..2 more firemen are closely behind them screaming VICTIM VICTIM!!! Well...I've never had so many things hit me at once like that....the officer of hte crew starts screaming GET MEDICS!! PUT NORTHSTAR IN THE AiR!! (our helicopter) BURN VICTIM!! I can remember every exact detail just like it was yesterday..The smell was aweful I started to get sick but I held my own and got down to business..they tried moving the victim onto to a sheet and I had her head as we carried her down the 3 flights of stairs..Once they told me to get the cot when we reached the bottom of hte stairs I took off like a shot out of hell...I had never ever ever ran so fast in my life...We got her on the cot and started heading for the ambulance...The smell was so gros...and people were just shocked as we ran through the lobby..I just started yelling for everyone to get the hell out of my way and open up the doors NOW!!...next thing you know it we got her in the rig and all was calm again...But I got stuck doing rehab on the firefighters who were up in that apartment and brought her down..It was nuts...I never thought how much TV was wrong...no videos or training could prepare you to see and smell something like that..this lady had 3rd degree burns almost on all of her body..and I wont get graphic but I remember pretty much everything..but After that call I couldnt ride the ambulance for a week or 2..it just felt weird riding the rig...I dunno how to explain it but then all of a sudden I got better and was fine with riding the rigs again...Sorry the story was so long but that was the worst call I've been on and hopefully it will be the last for a while...

                    ------------------
                    Andrew
                    South Amboy, New Jersey
                    Explorer Engine 6 So. Amboy Fire Dept & Cadet Morgan FAS
                    "EMTS DON'T DIE THEY JUST STABILIZE"

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                    • #40
                      April 1996, I was the firefighter on first arriving engine to a house fire, people trapped. Upon arrival, heavy fire involving one side of what appeared to be a normal balloon frame two-story double tenement. Also, we had confirmation of an unknown number of kids trapped on the second floor. Entering the house, I noticed a very large woman (600 lbs. +) lying on the sidewalk. To make a long story short, the fat lady was babysitting 4 kids from ages 2 to 10. The double tenement had been converted to a SFD, and the kids and baby sitter were on one side and the grandfather was on the other side. He was smoking in his wheelchair, and dropped the cigarette on himself. When she saw smoke and fire the fat *** baby sitter jumped from the second floor porch roof to safety AND LEFT THE DAMN KIDS INSIDE TO DIE!!! After it was all said and done, 4 kids and an elderly man were dead. All the babysitter had to do was set the kids on the porch roof and they would have been saved by ground ladder. On top of it all, the baby sitter showed little remorse.

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                      • #41
                        My worst, in 14 years in the volunteer service is the look on a deceased 19 yr old girl's face. She and her boyfriend had been out drinking, and using other unknown drugs. On a winding, twisting road, and apparently traveling at a high rate of speed, the driver failed to negotiate a turn, overcorrected, and hit a large rock sideways, which in turn forced the car into a rollover into a tree. The car had wrapped itself around the tree..killing the two of them instantly. If you can imagine the mask from the movie Scream, that is the expression left on her face. That terrorized me for 2 weeks afterward. especially 2 days afterward..when we learned that there had been a third victim of the crash..who somehow managed to get out of the vehicle, and left the scene to avoid police troubles. Just makes you wonder where some peoples minds are. Remember people..you never know what to expect. Expect the unexpected, then there are fewwer surprises

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                        • #42
                          Suicide of a fellow firefighter, nuff said.

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                          • #43
                            I had only been an firefighter and EMT for a few months when I went on a call where we were three on the engine and I was the only medic.

                            The patient was a young mother who was in septic shock. Her 5 or 6 Year old daughter answered the door and announced her "mom was real sick so she(the daughter) called 911." The mother's condition was in fact critical.

                            The closest ambulance available for the county we were in was stuck in rush hour traffic several miles away. The woman's house was three houses away from another county but the 2nd county wouldn't come into the 1st county. The worst part part being that the woman lived less than 1/2 mi. from our station where we knew that county #2 had an ambulance stationed that very moment. Meanwhile I'm basically watching this woman circle the drain while the beaurocrats check their SOPs.

                            Finally the 1st county's ambulance shows up. Fortunately the Paramedic driving had been listening in and broke several driving SOPs to get there. Thank god for rebels. They worked on the mother for a while in the back of the ambulance before bypassing the ER and taking her straight to CCU. I found out she was discharged several weeks later.

                            This call stressed me out because even though I was a rookie I had to take charge and argue with two different counties' dispatchers. Also because when the paramedics were working on the mother her daughter asked me straight out if her mom was going to die.

                            What's the right answer for that question?


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                            • #44
                              There have been too many to count or write about.But the death of a child is the hardest to deal with.I almost quit fire & rescue due to some of them ,but we all try our hardest.We can't save them all. That is the worst.

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                              • #45
                                Sunday August 25th, 1996 @ 10:47pm. We were dispatched to an MVA rollover north of town. I had made the second truck out and upon arriving at the scene, there was a car on its side, and a female in the ditch that had been thrown about 50 feet. The ambulance crew was already administering CPR on scene. My truck was assigned to take car of whatever needed to be done to the vehicle. When I turned and walked in front of the car, I recognized the license plates. I then immediately went to the ditch to make sure the person was who I thought it was. It was my sixteen year old sister. She died on arrival at the hospital.
                                The question was asked if it ever still bothers me? Not a damn day goes by that I don't think about it, and everytime a young person is involved in an MVA.....I CAN'T help but think about it.

                                ------------------
                                JMK271
                                ***Stay safe out there***
                                ***These opinion(s) are my own, and not that of the department in which I serve***

                                [This message has been edited by jmk271 (edited 05-10-2001).]

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