The first day of June marks the official beginning of another Hurricane Season, a reminder for businesses and individuals alike to once again go over all applicable hurricane preparedness checklists. Numerous websites can provide lengthy insight into a variety of issues affiliated with the aforementioned topic, and printed materials can be also be found here in our community, such as those provided by local media outlets and our department's very own Emergency Preparedness Division.
Early Wednesday morning, 3 June and just after 3 AM, units were dispatched to the report of an apartment fire on Ricky Drive, more specifically the apartment complex known as Mandarin Glen. The first arriving Engine on scene, Engine 42, reported heavy smoke showing and immediately initiated an agressive interior attack, with the majority of the fire well under control before the arrival of the rest of the maximum full assignment. With no injuries reported, the interesting aspect estabablished at the scene proved to be the admission by the occupant of not hearing the operational smoke detector signaling the rising smoke in the apartment. The alarm mechanism that 'did work,' however, was the effort put forth by an alert and vigilant canine companion. The cause of the fire were candles (as is quite often the case) left unattended in the living room area. None of the other apartment units in the fourplex building sustained water or smoke damage, with all fire suppression activity and affiliated ramifications confined solely to the involved unit.
On Friday, June 5th, units responded to quite possibly one of the most horrific and tragic motor vehicle accidents to occur in Jacksonville in recent memory. Just after 8:30 AM, on I 295 near Pritchard, a single motor vehicle accident resulted in the ejection of 8 of the 9 passengers within the vehicle, specifically an SUV with young adults on their way to a beach outing on this, the last day of the school year. What followed was the sad and unfortunate final tally of three deaths as well as a wide range of injuries to the other passengers involved in the accident. A far more thorough and detailed account of this incident can be readily found at any local news website; from the Fire/Rescue Department's viewpoint, however, the incident demonstrated the value of the MCI protocol as the patients were triaged and removed from the scene to area hospitals with astounding alacrity. Therefore, and in spite of the challenging circumstances and overall tragedy witnessed that day, a job 'well done' by all of the JFRD men and women on scene.