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In a small rural town comprised of just under three hundred souls who boasted a proud statistic, that being, one tenth of its citizens were Firefighters.

These brave Firemen and Paramedic had equipment so old and so few that the state fire marshal refused to hold a certification class at their department. But they proudly faced all the varied types of incidents with the practiced precision and confidence given to them by the one Deputy Chief who was a seasoned Firemen, EMT, community leader and adept educator, who always inspired confidence and "courage by example" in the whole crew.

The most outstanding incident this department ever successfully covered was one that involved a small female child who was not even school age, playing in the park of their small town with her older brother who was anything but well behaved or sedentary. Their mom, who was not far away physically but could not possibly keep track of their movements, was in the town library right there on the grounds.

As life and luck with have it, the older brother who was playing with his grade school friends running and climbing everywhere and on everything, was only half aware that his loving little sister was giving her best effort to follow his adventures as would his own shadow. So when the boys decided to climb the six foot fence that enclosed the now near empty park pool, little sister made her presence finally known,..... to the whole town!

As she scaled the fence, which she did with the mastery of a seasoned mountaineer, she lost her grip halfway down the descent and fell three feet, head first, to the concrete edge of the pool. For those of us who believe that we each are watched over by an angel it will be no surprise that there was a witness not far from the event who just happened to have the keys for the enclosure, so was able to start the chain of events that made a triumph out of the developing tragedy.

The little girl not only hit her head with enough force to render her unconscious, but also allowed her body to roll and fall into the near empty pool at the deep end where there was still enough water that was mixed with antifreeze to allow her last breath to fill her lungs with fluid.

The fearless groundskeeper jumped into the pool on the shallow end, raced to the now lifeless child and brought her back to ground level where he began CPR. It was all of six minutes before the Fire Department members began arriving and because the department was right there on the park grounds they had the ambulance with full crew ready to go immediately.

The groundskeeper was relieved by the Paramedic and Firefighter EMT's. They were shocked to see the open lifeless eyes, bluing lips and graying clammy skin of a child everyone knew and loved. Because of the detailed report from the groundsman as to exactly what happened and what he had done, all knew there might be a chance to save her if they could get to hospital ten miles away for the specialized help there.

As the crew on the ambulance feverishly tried to bring this child back to life, as they raced to the waiting arms of the hospital team who was alerted to the incident and ready to receive her, it was becoming apparent that their efforts were having an effect, because her color was starting to return... then the equipment registered sinus rhythm..... then suddenly with a heaving motion the child expelled the contents of her stomach! Now to just get her to breath again on her own. It was just a few seconds that passed and she did just that to the relief and unbridled joy of the whole crew, who knew they were not completely out of the woods but they had a living breathing child who less than ten minutes earlier had not vitals at all.

It was still a rushed delivery to the hospital, exit the bus and roll to the emergency room where she laid quietly unconscious, but stable. As the frightened parents were being calmed and supported at the front desk and the story was being related to everyone who needed to know, all were shocked once again as the little girl walked out into the front room from behind the curtain where she was supposed to be hooked up to all the equipment and demanded to see her Dad!

She was picked up by a man who moments earlier was beyond grief and panic and who now beamed with joy and relief to have his little girl back. She was quickly returned to her room but Dad was allowed to stay at her side and everyone went back to resume their lives as they left them with a renewed sense of community and confidence, because today a life was saved by a crew of not so average citizens, members of a Fire Department who did what needed to be done and a groundskeeper who was neither Firefighter or EMT, but a man who just happened to see a public service announcement about how to give CPR!

Angels come in all forms so it pays to heed these your local Fire Departments because, they need us to help them.. so they can be counted on when we need them to help us.

BELOW IS WHAT WE HAD FOR GEAR BACK IN 1996. Ill fitting and uncomfortable.

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Comment by Lieutenant Frederick Georges on May 6, 2015 at 5:23pm

Notice how small our building is? The ambulance was removed to make room for the Firefighters to pose for this photo with their new bunker gear they got with a grant.

Comment by Lieutenant Frederick Georges on May 5, 2015 at 3:52am

No matter what certifications you have, no matter what kind of equipment you use and no matter how few members that can be counted on when the alarm sounds... if you have the desire, community support and basic training, you can make the difference when it counts.

At the time this accident occurred there were only two department members who had any state certifications of any kind.. the paramedic and a newly confirmed Fireman. All who participated had the skills needed to make the difference between tragedy and triumph and the will to do what needed to be done. 




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