Exciting news for the crew of Station 28, located at 9200 Hogan Road, as trailers have arrived to serve as the temporary lodging while demolition of the old structure is occurring and construction of the 'new 28' is about to begin. The old station, a former Vehicle Inspection site and acquired in the 1980's, will be replaced by a state-of-the-art 4 bay, $2.2 million facility scheduled for completion in the Spring of 2009. Although Ladder 28 has been shifted over to Fire Station 50 for the duration of the construction, the other units of 28 that still remain at the old site will ensure a thorough continuation and no disruption of service within 28's territory throughout the entire timeframe of the project.
Our annual Regional Domestic Security Task Force (RDSTF) Region 3 meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 18 at Metropolitan Park, and this year's event promises to be quite special. Both static and interactive displays of both equipment and operational capabilities found within the Group will highlight the proceedings, thus creating an exciting visual array of public safety components sure to dazzle all in attendance.
In a true case of 'life imitating art,' Heavy 4 were in the process of wrapping up their loader (Stoke's) basket demonstration during the RDSTF exhibition when, suddenly, an emergency response for a shipboard incident was toned out: the scenario represented an actual, nearly note-for-note duplication of the 'mock-staged' incident just completed. A forklift driver aboard the vessel lay injured deep below in the cargo hold, and rescuers would have to transfer the victim from the hold down to the pier for transport to an area hospital. Naturally, the professionals responding to the incident required little to no time at all to retrieve the victim from 2 decks below the main deck aboard the cargo vessel docked at Talleyrand; but the irony was not lost on anyone at the scene of just how this 'real life incident' mimicked an actual demonstration conducted merely a few minutes prior to the 'real deal.'
November departed with two major fires and corresponding intensive local media coverage, beginning Friday evening, November 28th, as units were called out to a structure fire at the Baymeadows Professional Building. Located at 9109 Baymeadows Way, the over 3,000 square foot single-story building featured several 'suite' style offices, with each home to dentistry activity of varying specialities. The firefighters arrived at the scene and immediately observed heavy flame breaching through the roof on the western side of the building, the side closest to the nearby I-95 overpass. Command initiated a Second Alarm assignment within minutes after allowing for a prompt interior attack to attempt to cut the forward progression of the fire off. Failing in doing so in a timely fashion, interior sectors were withdrawn and Ladder Pipes erected, quickly dousing the heavy volume of flame and creating a more manageable scenario, thus resulting in the shutdown of Ladder Pipes and re-establishment of an interior attack. This approach ultimately led to the complete extinguishment of the fire in less than 60 minutes, a formidable achievement that was also aided by the presence of a firewall that kept the flames from rapidly spreading to the eastern side of the structure. Two firefighters were transported to area hospitals for treatment of minor injuries sustained during the course of combat action.
Next up was a far less successful outcome for emergency crews dispatched to the report of a single family, single story house fire late Sunday evening, November 30th, in the 1300 block of Francis Street. The first units on scene reported heavy smoke billowing out from the front door of the home, with the rear of the structure showing flames slowly reaching up into the skyline on this chilly night. Ladder 4 and Engine 7 performed the primary search in unison and, in the process, discovered an adult male on the floor right next to the front door of the home. Although the man was immediately carried to safety and rapidly transported to Shands by Rescue 4, word soon came back from the hospital that the victim had died shortly after arriving in the ER. Investigators had not been able to determine what caused the fire, but did confirm that the point of origin was indeed in the rear of the home where the most significant amount of charring and flame had been observed.