Once again, the lead sentence for a new month of JFRD incident updates incorporates a statement concerning a storm system that could potentially impact our community here along the First Coast. Yes, in spite of the ongoing COVID pandemic and during the dynamism of our nation's Presidential election, the third of November witnessed Category 4 hurricane 'Eta' slamming into the coastline of Nicaragua; seemingly inconsequential due to geography, the local significance affixed to the aforementioned storm justified by the projected path involving a future visit to South Florida beginnning Monday, 9 November. As usual, the subsequent projections are nebulous and seem to involve multiple scenarios with one, in particular, potentially effecting our area with heavy wind and rain (at a minimum) post Veteran's Day: although the 2020 Hurricane Season is 'almost' over, 'Eta' delivers yet again another important reminder how this season wasn't just a hyper-active, plethoric hurricane filled year but, for now, remains 'ONLY 'almost' over... a little more than three weeks to go!
On Tuesday, November 24th and shortly before 1 PM, JFRD units were called out to the report of a residential structure fire in the vicinity of Acorn and West 2nd Street with the alarming and importunate information affixed to the emergency indicating the possibility of someone trapped inside of the house. Equipped with this knowledge and confirming the visible presence of heavy smoke and fire upon arrival, firefighters wasted no time at all to enter into the structure to perform the primary search in order to rescue any potential victim from this horrific environment. Although the fire was quickly brought under control in less than twenty minutes and the residence would be found completely void and empty of people, the concerted and professional efforts of the first arriving firefighters resulted in four of the department's bravest civil servants in need of treatment and transport to area hospitals for injuries sustained during the initial stage of the operation. The cause of the fire was attributed to a faulty electrical heater found in a bedroom, with overall damage estimates yet to be determined.
Almost immediately after the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday, more specifically the last day of November on Monday, the 30th, the JFRD will welcome the new addition of 72 (!) recruit firefighters into the family: one of the largest rookie classes in the long history of the Department. Congratulations are in order to all of these men and women along with best wishes for a long and successful career serving in the best Fire/Rescue Department in the world!