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The Worst Call you have ever been on?

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  • sloepoke1
    replied
    I will relate two tales for ya. First I was about six or seven years old on this particular autumn night eating dinner with the family when the tones go off for a signal car accident on the hill. My father takes off out the door and we go about the rest of the evening worrying when he will be getting home. I later learn that the vehicle is stuck in a large oak tree and had caught fire totally burning every thing inside including the driver, before the fire dept was on the scene. My father was one of the crew to place the remains in a body bag and onto the cot. He said the body was so badly burnt that no one could identify it. About this time a county cop, with the fire chief, came up to my father and told him to sit down. The plates on the car came back registered to his father and the watch that was on the body was the one given to his father upon his retirement from the fire dept.

    Now for my worse call. Eighteen months after I joined the dept. becoming the third generation of volunteer firefighter in the family, I got called out for a MVA with one car in the creek. Upon arrival my crew was assigned to the vehicle in the creek. The closer we get to the car the more I think I know the car. What we found was a body sitting in the driver’s seat but it was its head, and after cutting him out of the car we had the unpleasant task of finding the rest of him. There were four of us so we split up into two groups, after searching the creek bank, and started searching each side of the creek down stream. After walking for over a mile in a creek, it had been raining all day and the creek was up, we finally found my best friend’s head stuck in a brush pile. He had been at a party and tried to drive home drunk.

    Thanks to the hardest Chief I have ever known he would not let me quit! He stayed on my *** until I got the help I needed to get through that part of my life and to learn from it!

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    A 2 car motor vehicle accident with one car fully involved and you didn't know there was anyone inside until you got the fire knocked down. The smell of their burnt bodies and having to help the coroner put them into a body bag, gave me nightmares for awhile.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I have been a fire fighter for two years now and an EMT for about 5 months. Last year around Christmas time we were dispatched to an overturned tractor at a residence. The person riding the tractor (large farm tractor) was killed by the weight of the tractor. This was my very first fatal call. Luckily - and I thanked God for this - there was no blood, etc. He was simply pinned underneath and my truck was released before they got the tractor off him. The next day I found out that he was my best friend's fiance's friend. I felt horrible. Then this past week I am at the firehouse loading hose with some of the guys and we get toned out for a Major MVA with possible entrapment of two victims. As we are leaving the station it comes back as one victim has been pulled out and is being given CPR by a bystander, and that both appear unconcious. Right then I knew it was not good. We got there and both were DOA. The worst part was that as we were pulling up - we were first on scene - I could see a baby seat in the back seat of this car that had been wrapped around a tree and bent almost in half. I was thinking that this was gonna be the hardest thing I ever had to do. Fortunately there was no child. Unfortunately both of the victims didn't make it and they both had two small children too young to be able to remember their daddy's. And this happened a few day before Father's Day. Again, someone I know came to the scene and it turned out to be her nephew that was driving.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    A couple of Sundays ago. About 6 pm. Had a call for a shed fire. Later was reported three full codes. Upon arrival discovered none were older than 7 years. The two asst. chiefs had arrived already and were doing cpr with some neighbors. Brought one back, other two children passed on. All were flown out via LifeNet.
    Turns out kids had been playing with a lighter in a shed. Caught some cardboard on fire. One of the kids went to get a bucket of water, and shut the latch behind him. Locked all three kids inside. Fire was out when we arrived. I'll never ever forget that sight.

    ------------------
    Mike

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    My worst call was when I was working in Dispatch and my wife, who was also working with me, we got several 911 calls for a mva-entrapment and one vehicle was on fire.

    the reporting party on the phones were hysterical that they were watching a man screaming for help as he burnt up and that they couldnt get him. I had to reassure them that there was nothing they could do and it was ok. I asked about the other vehicle and they said there was a man and a woman dead in the car. When the trooper got on scene, he read the license plate of the car with the two victims and it was my parnter for 8 yrs on the ambulance corps that I was with. I was stunned and I couldnt tell the other responders who it was because they all knew him too.

    Being in Dispatch and dispatching to that call made me feel so helpless that I couldnt be there. We had a CISD and I drank heavily for a week, but I am doing better with it now, so is the rest of the department.

    I have found that being a Dispatcher is just as stressfull, sometimes more, than being in the trenches. Just remember all that the dispatchers are also involved in the call and they are "first on scene".

    Stay safe out there everyone.

    Sean Corrigan
    Fire Captain and Dispatcher
    Seward Fire Department

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    This one's easy. It gives me the chills even though it was over 20 years ago. I was a rookie in a volunteer fire department on Long Island, New York. My department was close to the city limits and we ran a lot of building and house fires back then. On this one particular fire there was a missing child about 18 months old or so. When we arrived there was already heavy fire showing from the second floor. To make a long story short , after several failed attempts we could not find the child due to the heavy fire conditions. Being new, I was the "can man" overhauling and hitting the hot spots.
    I lifted a charred door to cool a hot spot when to my partners horror he noticed the body of the missing child stuck to the back of the door I was holding. I'll never forget his face. The door had fallen on the crib concealing the child from the search team.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    The infants and toddlers are always rough. But one I always come back to is a MVA I was on. 17 year old female was on her way back home from a football game at her high school. She had her junior permit for 2 weeks. Anyway a car came in the opposite direction in her lane, she swerved, apparantly hit the soft ground on the side of the road, flipped the car over on its top on the downward slope of a drainage ditch. When we got there, I found her still in the car, but due to it was a convertable, her head was wedged between the top of the door and the ground. She was CAOx3 the whole time, I crawled under the car with her, started 2 Large Bore IV's, taped a O2 mask to her face. I remember everything she said to me that day. She was only a tenth of a mile away from home. We attempted to lift the car with airbags, after cribbing, and using ropes to try to stablize further, but the cribbing and car kept wanting to shift downhill. We used the tow truck hoist to pull straight up. The minute the car came off her head she was gone. Massive open skull fracture. The car kept her head from coming apart and keeping her alive. Her face (she was absolutely gorgous), her voice, and all she told me is a curse. Other then her parents I was the last one to see her face in her normal condition before swelling set in. I delivered every word she wanted her parents to know, and walked up front with them during her funeral procession. While it hurts and I still have dreams, and an occasional nightmare, she keeps the humanity and compassion when I start to forget. She would be 23 now. Even the child abuse cases I've worked, fall behind her. It is amazing how, when this question is asked, anyone who's been there, doesn't haven't to think about it, it just pops right up.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I would have to say the worst call I have ever been on started off as a 10-50 involving a truck and a motorcycle. As the first arriving piece I started noticing all the Harley's lining the road. The moment I started recognizing the bikes I know I was in trouble. Then I noticed it, the bike mangled by the truck was a good friend of mine. He and a bunch of my friends had been on a run for most of the day and were coming back to the city. At that same time a drugged up known felon with no drivers license was stealing a six pack of beer and speeding away from the quick stop. While speeding away through a turn he was unable to keep control of the truck and hit my friend head on. Killing him instantly. My friend whose only addictions in life were making people laugh, drinking Pepsi, riding his bike and his 6 year old daughter laid in a mangled mess on a gravel driveway. Almost 90% of the bones in his body were broken, his face was split open across the bridge of his nose three inches wide. His eyes were missing and most of his brains were scattered along the gravel. Later on after putting his body in the bodybag I sifted through the gravel collecting up what was left of him but I never found his eyes....and that still bothers me even today, three years later.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    People think we're sometimes cold in doing our jobs, but isn't it interesting how you can almost feel the emotion in all of these posts.

    I've been around the business for 17 years, my dad for 10 before that, and my grandfather is still plugging away after 50 years as a volunteer, so the 'family stories' abound.

    Since becoming County Fire Coordinator for Sunflower County, MS, I've seen way more than I wanted. Two of the worst would include a single family dwelling where four kids (6mo, 2, 8, and 9) were left in the care of their blind grandfather. Dispatch called my house around 11pm; FD had requested my response to house fire with unknown number of victims (numbers ranged from 3 to 8 initially). All five died that night. The house as 3/4 burned. Grandfather was found in a bathroom, one kid in a bedroom floor, and the three others including the infant were huddled together in the floor of the room where the fire started. Had we found them all in bed it might not have hit quite as hard, but finding them as we did proved they knew what was happening.

    The second was May of 2000. MVA on a lonely county road at 3:00am. The kind where you just know it's gonna be bad even before you're feet hit the floor. I arrived onscene right behind EMS and a Deputy (also a firefighter). The car had missed a curve, sailed off and hit a utility pole on the passenger's side, rode up the pole until it snapped and then continued another 50 feet or so before it landed on it's roof. The impact was so hard the roof was pushed almost completely down to the bottom of the windows. We could see one victim, no pulse. Second victim could only be accessed through a hole just big enough to get your hand through. No pulse either. We could see a tangle of legs in the back seat, but couldn't do anything till the rescue got in. Ultimately it wound up being five teens (three high school kids and two college freshmen), all DOA. It took nearly two hours to get them all out. We've all been there when we get one or two DOAs out, but doing five! And it was very slow - one at a time. I guess the worst memory that still haunts me was hearing the parents back up on the road. Of the five killed, four sets of parents showed up (the fifth was from out of state). We called in one of our chaplains VERY early on this one, and performed most admirably when working with the parents. He'd come down where we were to get an update, then go back to the parents. I bet he did that 10 times that night.

    Luckily we'd instituted a CISM program for our guys about a year prior to this. People, you may not think it'll bother you; and I did too. All day that day I just sort of gelled at the office, and I wasn't much of a husband or dad that night. The next morning my wife told me I must have dreamed about it because she woke to hear me "directing firefighters" (her words) in my sleep. Why do I say this? Critical Incident Stress isn't the ONE incident by itself. It's the build-up of many, many events, and sooner or later that ONE event is going to be like a dam breaking. All of those old events you thought you forgot will come rushing back.

    Take time to do small debriefings and defusings anytime you think you need too. Officers, watch those guys out there.

    To whoever started this thread - you hit on something good.

    ------------------
    James A. Whitfield, Jr., MCEM
    Sunflower County Fire Coordinator
    Indianola, Missisippi
    (662) 887-6253
    [email protected]
    Battalion 1 - The Pride of the South

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    About 6 years ago we recieved a call for a possible shooting. upon arrival, I observed one other emt walking away from scene with his head hanging down, and crime scene tape going up. as I got closer, I realized that a high school friend of mine-who was also our dept's chief, was lying in his front yard, with 3 bullets in him from a hunting rifel. Also lying by his front door was another f.f. who was a member of my company, with a self inflicted wound to his head from the same rifel. This devestated the dep't.
    this is one that will never be forgotten.
    For those of you who need to know, it was all from a love triangle, so be careful what you do. No one ever expected that these people would react the way they did.

    ------------------
    Scott

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Wow, what timing. After 20 years in the fire service my worst call was yesterday. My engine stopped at a cross walk to allow to little kids to cross. The kids darted out across the street not seeing the other lane because of the engine blocking the view. At the same time a car in the other lane was moving along at about 40 mph also with the view obsructed by the engine. The little boy was struck by the car right in front of me throughing him about 25 feet like a rag doll. It all happened in about 2 seconds and I saw it coming and could do nothing to prevent it. I have been on many calls this serious but never had to witness it happen and then go to work. He was seriously injured but by the grace of GOD will recover. After our critical stress meeting two of our medics had to go home. These guys are seasoned medics.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Wow, what timing. After 20 years in the fire service my worst call was yesterday. My engine stopped at a cross walk to allow to little kids to cross. The kids darted out across the street not seeing the other lane because of the engine blocking the view. At the same time a car in the other lane was moving along at about 40 mph also with the view obsructed by the engine. The little boy was struck by the car right in front of me throughing him about 25 feet like a rag doll. It all happened in about 2 seconds and I saw it coming and could do nothing to prevent it. I have been on many calls this serious but never had to witness it happen and then go to work. He was seriously injured but by the grace of GOD will recover. After our critical stress meeting two of our medics had to go home. These guys are seasoned medics.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    The worst call ever answered by myself and my company, we were dispatched to a MVA with a rescue, vehicle on fire. We responded with another department as it was their run but we had the rescue equipment for this area. We had a nearly 10 minute run to get to the accident scene. Just before arrival the chief from the other department went on scene with a truck over the embankment, on fire. Just seconds later he notified radio to contact the cornor. I ended up working as the IC on this incident as all of our command officers were out of the area. It was just a routine incident with a fatality, except about 30 minutes into the accident, the routine turned into a nightmare. The driver that was killed and burned was my friend i had went to school with. He had gotten a different truck than i had last saw him with so i didnt reconize him at the scene. That was until i heard who the other person in the vehicle was. It was his girlfriend and as soon as i heard it was him, it was like a ton of bricks hit me. I just blocked it out until the run was over. I had nightmares for weeks. The worst part was his mother giving me a hug at the funeral. That nearly killed me. And if all of this wasnt bad enough, about 4 hours after this accident we made a car overturned victims ejected...It was a mom and her 2 kids. Mom and her oldest son was fine, they were seatbelted in. Her 8 year old son wasnt belted in, thru him out the back window and the car landed on his head. Killed him on impact. This day caused me to take 2 weeks worth of leave. I can handle alot of things, but children is a whole different story.

    ------------------
    Captain James Collier
    McMahan Fire Rescue
    KCTCS Area 6 Instructor

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Responded to a pin job on Route 169(State Highway that runs through Bayonne). Car had flipped a few times and was on its side when we arrived on location. Arm was out the window and being pinned by the roof.

    Cops were calling us to get the women out. Got to car and noticed brain matter on the ground and her head split from her mouth up.

    She was on heroin and what had happened was she crossed a median and the car went airborn. As it came down, she started to self eject(no seat belt) but before she was fully ejected, she hit her face on the driver's side A-post of an oncoming carand knocked her back into her own car. There was bone fragment, brain matter and blood all over the car that was hit. Felt so bad for the people who got hit(grandparents babysitting two little kids).

    Probably the worst call I have been on.

    ------------------
    Kevin M. Fitzhenry, [email protected]
    Firefighter, Truck Co. 2
    City of Bayonne (NJ) FD
    www.bayonnenj.org/fire/

    [This message has been edited by FitzBFDT2 (edited 05-18-2001).]

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    The first one I remember is a motorcycle mva with two passengers they were speeding down a hill with a rock wall on one side and a sharp drop down the other. the first guy I saw was the driver, he was slumped around a tree. when i reached him I saw intestines up the tree about three feet and his skull was opened up, I didnt know then i was standing right over his brains. AS I checked Him I heard the other down the hill farther moaning
    and talking incoherantly to no one.
    When i reached him I thought that his left arm was missing, so i kept looking around to make sure i wasnt standing over that too, turns out it was somewhat attatched to him underneath him. He was a wreck, head truama
    broken leg, partially amputated arm. He kept telling me over and over that "the dumb idiot was trying to kill me", he lived, his friend however was the worst state of the human body i have ever seen.

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