November Incidents 2004
The month of November is upon us and, historically speaking, the unfortunate possibility of an increase in home structure fires. Whether the onset of cooler weather or simply the need to cook more 'comfort' food in the kitchen (surely Thanksgiving plays a significant role in such an assessment), the differential in home fires from the month of October to November is truly alarming. Hopefully the upcoming weeks will not reinforce the validity of these observations and the status quo can be halted, maybe even reversed.
Leading into the month of November was an emergency response to an aircraft incident at Herlong that ultimately claimed the life of one person onboard the plane. The NTSB is investigating the cause of the tragedy.
It appears as if aircraft-related scenarios are playing a major role in garnering attention in the month of November. Tuesday evening, the 9th of November, witnessed the report of a 'downed' aircraft in the general vicinity of Normandy Boulevard. No specific location could actually be ascribed to this 'emergency,' as many eyewitnesses reported seeing 'glowing objects' descend from the early evening sky into separate regions of the aforementioned area. Media were bombarded by citizens calling from Green Cove Springs and elsewhere with similar claims. Despite the herculean efforts of westside crews, nothing was found and local FAA accounts had no calls of distress reported for that time or location. Result? Apparently a short and 'unexpected' meteor shower or similar event was the true culprit.
Preparations are underway for the next Recruit Graduation ceremony at the Training Academy on Wednesday, the 17th, beginning at 7 PM. On the surface this event may appear to be relatively repetitive,just another one of many graduation ceremonies regularly conducted at the Academy; however, this particular class has created a truly unique circumstance: this will mark the first time that an active duty fire/rescue 'Father-Daughter duo' will be front and center upon receipt of graduation certificate and first assignment. Congratulations to Captain Herb Ramsdell and his daughter Pamela! It should also be noted that the late Chief Dowling wasn't only known as the 'father of Rescue' but also as Pamela's grandfather! Public Safety blood certainly does flow through the veins of the Ramsdell family.
The Thanksgiving holidays have now come and gone and, unfortunately, the festivities and the joy were unceremoniously interrupted by an accident involving two of our department's combat personnel. While enroute to a brush fire located at West Beaver and Yellow Water, the brush truck carrying the two responders was involved in an accident at the intersection of Normandy and Chaffee. Although one of the individuals would subsequently be released following a medical evaluation at Shands, the other victim was less fortunate and currently remains at the hospital with extensive injuries. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with him and his loved ones throughout this ordeal.
In light of the aforementioned item any additional subject would appear pointless or unimportant, but life does indeed go on within the realm of Public Safety - as such, preparations are underway for the groundbreaking ceremony for new Station # 57. Once the details have been finalized then this site, as well as DDS bulletins, will certainly contain all of the specifics.
Within the Rescue Department, the equivalent of a major 2nd Alarm found in combat is most assuredly the Mass Casualty Incident, or 'MCI' for short. The magnitude of this event, aside from the logistical specifics, is easily identified through the pronounced use of resources and is further characterized by the frequency of occurence. In as much as the combat version '2nd Alarm' is an infrequent event, with perhaps one or two a year (on average), the MCI itself appears seldom but garners plenty of headlines from local media once the event unfolds.
The aforementioned 'truism' came to light early in the morning of November 30th, just around 8:30 AM. Almost directly at the exit ramp southbound 9A at Beach Boulevard, a small bus, non-Duval County School System, came into contact with a sports sedan vehicle, leading to the bus flipping over onto its side. Inside 10 children, ages 14 through 16, along with the bus driver, would require prompt medical attention. This could only mean one thing - MCI Level 2! With little or no extrication required, save for the bus driver who was not seriously pinned but still in need of assistance in exiting the bus, the focus of the evolution quickly became patient triage and rapid transport to area hospitals. With all injuries relatively minor in nature (complaints of soreness and discomfort and visible signs of contusions), spine and neck immobilization was swiftly performed and patients were then split into two groups: those going to Shands Hospital and the others to Baptist. If only the decision-making process at every MCI were this easy! Unquestionably a success, the MCI did show again how the Rescue side of public safety can gear up for their respective 'second alarm' event.