With the city and, by proxy, the Jacksonville Fire/Rescue Department, busily pursuing all COVID vaccination related activity in this new year of 2021, residential structure fires routinely provide a reminder of how the 'mundane' and routine emergency incident is still both imminent and inevitable, each and every day. Case in point: the very first day of the month of February and JFRD units were dispatched to the 2000 block of Hyde Road Park in response to an apartment fire. Engine 22 "A" arrived on scene to discover heavy smoke and fire visible from the dwelling and, with no time to spare, the crew performed forcible entry and upon entering and searching the apartment unit discovered an unconscious female in the living room. After being carried out to safety and subsequently attended to and transported by Rescue 22 to an area hospital, reports emerged that the patient had recovered from this horrific ordeal: job well done, Station 22 "A" - Shift!
Over the years, the Dames Point Bridge has been the scene of some truly horrific accidents requiring dramatic, exceptional rescue efforts by the assigned first responders. Added to that list now is undeniably a tremendously dangerous and awe-inspring rescue performed by the crew from Fire Station 30 on the evening of 6 February. During a torrential down-pour coupled with foggy conditions that created limited visibility for all motorists, a collision involving two vehicles sent one plunging down from the bridge and into the St. Johns River right off the southbound lanes. Although the vehicle landed in six feet of water and the driver managed to emerge relatively unscathed from the car, an unassisted ascent out of the river during the stormy conditions proved impossible. Enter the firefighters from Station 30: arriving on scene, the crew quickly assembled all necessary and available High Angle Rescue measures in virtually no time at all and soon was able to hoist the (un)lucky driver out of the chilly waters. An incredible job performed by these professionals and one that garnered much well-deserved publicity in the aftermath of the event.