At this point and for this specific entry entitled, "December Incidents 2017," apologies must first be offered for the lack of a monthly submission since the "August 2017" section and/or chapter. There are, and were, MANY reasons for the aforementioned lack of updated material (primarily the launch of the new and improved Kentico 10) which tragically resulted in significant events occurring during the late summer and entire autumnal season receiving no mention at all, such as the devastation brought to our community by Hurricane Irma in early September, or coverage of our 'Sea of Blue' and Fallen Firefighter Memorial from October of this year, 2017. In any event, herewith this proclamation that these pages are once again operational and will once again continue to try and capture monthly events involving the JFRD that are of some significance, as subjective as the latter can certainly be. For December, the noteworthy event (and news) is most assuredly the graduation of another Recruit Class, 25 newly hired professional emergency responders found within Recruit Class 417, with said ceremony scheduled for Thursday, 14 December. Congratulations to one and all!
A Third Alarm assignment early Monday morning, 18 December and just before 3:30 AM, would see approximately 60-odd firefighters assemble at the Jacksonville Townhouse Apartments located at Phillips and Emerson to battle an apartment fire on the 8th floor of this ten story high-rise. The fire apparently began in an A/C unit in Apartment 816 and by the time the first dispatched crews arrived on scene, the terrifying visual of flames leaping out the window 8 floors above the ground underscored the severity of the incident to each and every first responder. Firefighters had soon scrambled up the stairs and arrived at the area of origin of the fire, swiftly containing the latter to the apartment and thus successfully limiting the scope of fire damage to nothing more than the directly impacted area. Water and smoke damage, however, would impact adjacent floors throughout the East Wing of the complex and by the end of the operational period. more than 100 individuals would be displaced from their residences, and now in need of assistance from the Red Cross. In spite of this unfortunate epilogue, the good news from the scene existed in the transport number of only 5 individuals to area hospitals, with each listed in good condition.