With the arrival of October the JFRD is once again actively engaged in preparations for the annual "Sea of Blue" and Fallen Firefighter Memorial observance, with this year's (and month's) event scheduled for the 12th of October, beginning with the Sea of Blue at 10 AM and the Memorial scheduled to be observed at 11 AM, the latter to be held this year at Fire Station #1.
No sooner has the month of October arrived and already on Tuesday, the 4th, the JFRD and the Emergency Operations Center (and naturally several other city agencies as well within their respective protocols) are once again actively engaged in 'storm watching:' Hurricane Matthew is threatening to run up the eastern seaboard following a devastating period throughout parts of the Caribbean. With the greatest potential impact to our local area expected on Friday (the 7th), all citizens are reminded to 'be aware and prepare' for the eventuality the storm could wobble closer to the First Coast along its ongoing, erratic path north-northwest.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Hurricane Matthew did indeed visit our city and general area, wrecking havoc and mayhem along the way...but, nonetheless, not nearly as fearsome and destructive as the worst case scenario predicted for this potential "Storm of The Century." Not wishing to regurgitate the newsworthy elements of the incident here, as there are plenty of other outlets online that feature precisely that. One issue that should be noted here, however, is an unusual Level 2 Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) that took place at nearly the height of the storm's impact on Jacksonville. Just after 5:30 PM on Friday, 7 October, JFRD units were forced to treat 14 patients due to carbon-monoxide poisoning, with 8 requiring transport to area hospitals. This scenario unfolded due to the use of a generator in an unventilated area of an apartment complex. The generator had been placed in-doors in a hallway between two individual apartments, the deadly and undetectable gas seeping into the apartment units and nearly creating a tragedy of epic proportion. This particular emergency response emphasized once again that the main incident, the actual storm in this case, is not necessarily the catalyst or cause of the most devastating situation to engulf an individual or family: instead, the ancillary events accompanying the primary incident often prove to be the far worse and potentially, deadlier component.