Monday evening, March 7th, established the first life-saving response within a combat scenario for the new month. Units were summoned to 1933 Witten (intersecting Ellis) to the report of a single family structure fire. As Engine 26 approached the address, visibility dropped to almost zero with the smoke from the incident engulfing the entire street. It was as if an imitation of a fog bank off some north-eastern shoreline had suddenly come alive on the westside of Jacksonville. The blanket of smoke was so thick that the crew couldn't even see any of the houses along the road, let alone the actual incident site until they drove right up on it. No sooner had the annoucement 'on scene' been broadcast, then suddenly the structure vented and flames were shooting out of windows and through the front door. The report of someone possibly being inside turned out to be a fact, as the primary search revealed the occupant in the rear of the home, unconscious and lying on the floor, soot visibly smeared around the nostrils. Quickly removing the victim from the home, a rapid intubation was subsequently performed by Rescue 32 and transport to Baptist Hospital soon followed. The fire itself proved to be no challenge at all, as within a mere 10 minutes an 'all clear' was announced. The patient, pronounced as being in critical condition upon arrival at the hospital, is now expected to make a full recovery in no small part due to the determination of the firefighters at the scene.
Thursday, March 10th, was another day filled with public safety activity here in our beloved city. Beginning with an early morning fully involved single family structure fire at 12996 Silver Springs Drive North, with a 'saved' dog (noone else was home at the time) but a total loss of the dwelling(approximately $200,000), and ending with the admission of the latest and 'greatest' group of new recruits to enter into the ranks of the JFRD in graduation ceremonies held at the Academy that evening.
As the week of one of Jacksonville's biggest events arrives, the annual Players Championship at Sawgrass, fire and rescue activities are once again as numerous as ever. From the drama (virtually 'Hollywood-style!') of the multi-story retirement community second alarm on Beaver and Broad, with firefighters escorting senior citizens via extended tower ladders to safety while smoke and flames surrounded the scene, to a multiple car-fire at the Brookwood Forest apartment complex, the department is simply always busy. With activities such as the aforementioned considered 'external,' then the 'internal' news would certainly focus on the next group of retirements occurring near the end of the month, with subsequent promotions, along with a new group of recruits joining the Department on Monday, March 28th.