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Subject:Lucky Break
Time:07:51 pm
Today I had a doctor's appointment in midtown Atlanta.  I know very little about Atlanta and how to get around.  After the appointment was over and I was on my way home, I was following my GPS's directions.  The GPS had me getting on the interstate, and as soon as I had gone to far down the ramp to be able to safely change my mind I saw that the ramp was for the HOV lane (High occupancy vehicle) which I did not qualify for as I was in the truck by myself.  About 1/2 way down the ramp there were 2 motorcycle cops slowing people down and letting the cars with 2 or more go through and pulling over the cars with just 1 person in them, needless to say I got pulled over.  When the officer walked up to my window I handed him my license before he asked for them.  He glanced at it, and asked if I knew why I was getting pulled over. I replied that it was probably because I was in the HOV lane and did not have anybody with me.  I went on to explain that I was unfamiliar with the area and that I saw the HOV markings after I could not get turned around.  He started to say that the GPS could be told to avoid HOV lanes, but toward the end of the sentence he kinda trailed off.  After a slight pause he asked me if I was a fire fighter, to which I replied, yes I am.  he handed me my license back, said have a nice day and get out of the HOV lane as soon as I could, turned and recrossed the lane to his bike and the other officer.  I guess he saw my badge from my 1st department hanging from the rear view mirror, or my leather helmet in the front seat, and remembered the fire department tag on the front bumper.  I don't know for sure, but what ever the case I am glad he let me go because the fine for being in the HOV lane without a rider is expensive.  Needless to say I was very lucky!!!
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Subject:My birthday present from my daughter
Time:10:40 pm
Since my wreck I have been telling my wife that I would like a leather helmet to replace the carins ten-ten I was issued when promoted to lieutant of my department that was damaged in my wreck and no longer meets NFPA or OSHA standards.  She told me to go ahead and order one (one of the guys who used to be in my department runs a supply company) for my birthday, so I did and am saying that it came from my daughter.

So here is what I got.Collapse )
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Subject:my car wreck and the aftermath
Time:06:07 pm
So from what I have been told (from several sorces) at midnight on 3-19 while responding to a chimney fire I lost control of the 88 Bronco II I was driving. I went off the road on my side then overcorrected and rolled in the ditch on the other side.  I was ejected from the bronco and was found 25 feet away, an oncoming driver saw me wreck and called 911.  The cheif of my station diverted all personell to the wreck and had the next closest stationed paged for the fire.  I was transported a few miles by local ambulance and then airlifted to Alanta Medical Center.  I crushed my T6 vertabra, and have some minor damage to my spinal cord.  I am currently paralized from about mid chest on down.


Here is my version of "Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst, and everything will be OK"

In hopeing for the best I am wanting to walk again, but according to everyone here at Shepard Spinal Center (where I was transfered to 6 days after my wreck and the surgery to repair my back) I need to plan on being in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, so I have commited myself to learning the skills I need to function on a daily basis from a wheelchair.  In doing that, when I think about my comittment to the Fire Station (Where I am currently a liuentant) I hit a big brick wall.  When I first joined the Department in my home town it was because I was unemployed and bored.  But that reason quickly changed to being able to help my community (in the form of being able to go into a fire and saveing someones stuff or grabing the jaws of life and cuting someone out of a wrecked car).  Now with the wheelchair in my future I know I will never be able to do the most inportant things to me again.  I can stay a member of the department and help the guys train, help with the paperwork for truck checks, help with general station paperwork, but I can't go in and help save someone's stuff and I cant help save someone from a car wreck.  I have expressed my intrest in staying on with the department to help in the ways I can in training and my chief has said that that would be great because he does not want to loose the knodlege that I have locked away in my head.  WHile I still hold to the hope and beliefe that I will walk again, looking at the futur wtih the wheelchair it just about crushes my spirit because I know I will not be able to do the 2 things that make being a volunteer fire fighter inportant to me.

Sorry about the pitty party yall, but I just needed to get this all written down while I was thinking about it.

Be Safe
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Subject:Carepage for Kevin Stephenson
Time:02:40 pm
For updated info, visit https://www.carepages.com/carepages/kevinstephenson - he is at Shepherd Center and doing well, coming out of ICU today
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Time:10:13 am
Friends,

This is Kevin's wife, Katie.  I think I know most of his friends on here, but maybe not all.  For those of you who do not know, Kevin was injured in a single vehicle accident while responding to a fire call.  He is currently in Atlanta Medical Center, but we are not having visitors yet.

Kevin was severely injured.  He has fractured his spine, T5-6.  He spinal cord is severely damaged.  He is currently paralyzed from about the bottom of his sternum down.  The damage is most likely permanent.  He is in surgery now to stabilize his back, but after he is stable enough to move will most likely be transferred to the Shepherd Center, a rehab facility for brain and spinal injury.  It is one of the best rehab facilities in the country, so this is wonderful news.

We are trying to get a Facebook page set up for Kevin, I will share that information as it comes available.  There have also been some news articles about it on Atlanta's station 2 and firehouse.com.

I'll try to give more info soon.
Katie
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Subject:Fire Fighter job protection bill in the senate
Time:07:35 am

Last night I sent a letter to my senator, who is on the committee that this bill happens to in right now. This bill would offer Volunteer FF/EMS personnel job protection when they were late for or absent from work when dispatched on emergency calls. The volunteer would not get paid for the time missed, but the employer could not use the missed time against you in any negative way, as long as you have a letter from  your commanding officer saying that you were on a call.  I think we all need to write to our senators and ask them to support this bill.

here is the letter that I wrote:

Senator Isakson,

I am a volunteer Fire Fighter for Morgan County, Station 2. I was dismissed from my job in the summer of 2009 for "moonlighting with the fire department".  I was a volunteer in Alabama before I moved to Georgia, and joined with Morgan County shortly after moving here. My employer knew I was joining the department and did not say anything at the time. After I elected not to work on several "voluntary overtime weekends" so that I could fulfill training requirements for the fire department and calling in to work one day when I had been on a fire scene from 10 pm to 4 am (I called my supervisor and left a message asking for a vacation day that was granted), my employer terminated my job. I was appalled to find out that Georgia does not have a law to protect Volunteer Fire Fighter's jobs when dispatched in response to emergency situations.  When I was on the Department in Alabama I knew that the Alabama House passed Bill 437 which protected the jobs of Fire Fighters.

 

I see that Senate Bill s1025 is currently in the subcommittee that you are a member of. I think it would be beneficial to all volunteer fire departments if this bill were to get passed into law.  I hope that you will do all that you can to see that this Bill is passed.

 

Sincerly,

 

Kevin Stephenson

MCFD, Station 2 Lieutentant


The bill is S1025 and is currently in the
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. If enough senators get mail from us on this, it may actually get passed, and we can respond to calls without fear of loosing our our jobs or getting in trouble for being late. Forward this to all the fire fighters that you know!
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Subject:2 rollover AAPI's
Time:03:24 pm
So Wednesday morning I'm in my nursing outfit just getting ready to head out the door when I get toned for a 2 car AAPI w/ 3 injuries.

Since this call involves Immediate Danger to Life/Health (IDLH), I speed dial the instructors office, give a SITREP and say I'm going to be late.

Zip down to the firehouse, gear up, on the truck and away we go.

Roll up on the scene. 2 cars of dumb kids driving too fast on early morning icy roads. Nobody in immediate danger of dying.

Traffic control, paperwork. Squad throws the injured in a bus and takes them to the hospital Thats a very important point. Remember it.

We clear the scene, call back in service and go back the firehouse.

We're just backing in when we get toned for a second call. AA possible PI one occupant with entrapment rollover.

I'm yelling out the cab door of the truck for the dismounted guys to remount because we're rolling NOW, NOW, NOW!

Out of the firehouse, off the apron, make a left and a few hundred yards away up a hill we see some commotion.

We roll up. White Chevy Blazer on it's roof with a pair of legs sticking out the drivers side rear window.

Now here's the important thing: the squad is still enroute transporting from the last call. Normally they arrive first. They're not here. We're first. --I'm-- first.

Off the truck and running to the vehicle. Legs belong to helpful bystander. He backs out and I crawl into the vehicle.

Driver is pinned with her head stuck between the ceiling (which is now the floor) and the top of the passenger front headrest. Left ankle wedged up under the dash. I go into the usual "Hi, I'm...from....we're going to.... etc". She says she's not hurt and a quick assessment -seems- to confirm this.

I tell her I'll be back and crawl out the window. One of the other guys comes by and we get to the Heavy Rescue rig and start pulling out cribbing.

She can't go to the hospital until we extricate. We can't extricate until we render the vehicle safe/stable.

While we start chocking and stabilizing the vehicle I talk to the chief. I think we can get her out but a wise course of action is to call our mutual aid company and have them respond with airbags, ResQ-Jaks and Jaws. I don't think we'll need them but if we do, they'll be there. Remember....you can --ALWAYS-- send units back if you don't need them, but you can't just reach up your ass and pull out an extra company if you need one NOW.

Squad shows up and we all pile in. Power is still on and we're able to manipulate the seat to get the woman free. Backboard. Everyone drags, then lifts. On the bus and away she goes. The helicopter is taken off standby (protocol is entrapment always puts aircraft on standby).

So it went well. In 5 years thats the first time I ever used our cribbing in a real life call.

And then today rolls around.

I'm doing schoolwork and get toned.

Off I go. Right turn, firehouse, park the car, hide the keys. -1 truck on the apron awaiting crew, Rescue -9 also waiting. I run in the building and hear a radio broadcast over my pager saying to jump in -9, -1's awaiting a crew. Grab my gear, hop in and away we go.

Not as dramatic as Wednesday. 1993 Jeep Suburban-type vehicle on it's side. Squads there inside already working on one one guy. Again, we stabilize the vehicle. Cops are there.

Story I'm getting is that the driver and passenger had done some heroin and that driver passed out causing vehicle to mount an embankment (no shoulder) and roll.

I did not get a good look at the drivers injuries but we had mutual aid set up an LZ in the town park and he was airlifted from there. Sheriffs office wanted to secure the scene so we turned it over to them. I heard them say they were going to have accicent reconstruction come out. They usually only do that on fatals, so I'm guessing the driver is 50/50.

The passenger was just standing around on the shoulder, hopping around and playing with his crotch an awful lot. I believe they have a few questions for him. :)

They'll probably tone us out again when the wrecker shows up to collect the vehicle, as there were a lot of fluids and such around and we usually have to be there when they load the vehicle, in case something goes bad.

I have pictures, but they need to be developed.

For now, back on line trying to learn more about intracranial hemorrhaging and it's role in quadraplegia.
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Time:06:16 pm
Took an interesting fire call today.

Mid afternoon we get toned out for a call to assist local PD with a dangerous building(?).

We roll and arrive on scene. 3 story boarded up wood frame structure on main street. Aluminum cap sheathing on the flat roofs parapets has peeled back in the wind. Some has already broken free and landed in the street, and some is hanging ominously off the side of the building.

Initial plan to ladder the back of the building and go to the roof externally is cancelled due to ice and snow build up that makes the risk not worth the reward.

We grab a set of irons and with a local cop force entry into the building.

Now, you have to understand what this building is. It's an 1860's vintage 3 story main street false facade building that was built as a restaraunt bar with the second and third floor as rooming/boarding house. Over the years it has been cut up into small apartments and a couple years ago condemned for habitation due to code violations. The really interesting aspect is that for as long as anyone can remember, the topmost floor has had all the windows boarded up and been unused since it lacked fire escapes and thus could not be rented.

We force entry and proceed up the center hall main stairs to the second floor. Place is a wreck. Now we are trying to find access to the 3rd floor. We split up (in retrospect not the wisest move, given the buildings condition) and someone calls out that they have found a narrow staircase leading upstairs.

We all pile into this narrow little staircase, me bring up the end of the parade behind the cop. I comment that it's a bad idea to put us all on the stairs at once, as it won't leave any survivors to fill out the indicent report when it collapses.

We get up to the 3rd floor which is dark because all the windows are boarded up from the outside. Helmet lights and Survivors and Streamlights.

Absolutely incredible.

It's as if it's a time capsule from 1890 or so. The walls still have the gas jet lighting fixtures and the wall paper and molding are the classic 1890 style. Once I had the opportunity to look at several hundred NYPD crime scene photos from the 1890-1910 era and the furnishings, decor and every other damn detail in this place was just like the old glass plate images (except we didn't find any bodies).

Again we unwisely went our seperate ways looking for roof access and I was the one to find a scuttle hatch. There was a good ladder (you bet you f'ing A I checked it!!) near by and we set it up, one guy braced it and irons in hand I popped the hatch and we accessed the roof. We did what we needed, securing the scene and closed everything back up.

The 3rd floor was great. There were two lareg openings in the floor that had been old staircases that had been sealed off when they put drop ceiling on the floors below. I was able to get a pretty good idea of how the place had been laid out originally and it was very cool.

Unfortunately the building is in such condition that it probably cant be economically restored and will likely need to be completely gutted or knocked down.

Pity. Very cool though.
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Subject:checking out some hose.............
Time:07:32 pm
Shined shoes? Check.

Clean uniform? Check.

ID card and some cash? Check

Off to the annual Columbia County Volunteer Firemans Association Convention.

Conveniently close. Only 5 minutes away by motorcycle.

And why do I waste a good Friday evening on this stuff? Entertainment!!!

Ahh…….it’s good to be a fireman!

(yes, it’s a shame daddy didn’t love you more. Here’s another $1 bill, start shaking it up!)
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Subject:Mad props...............
Time:12:10 am
Firematic images behind the Tupelo cut………….Collapse )
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[icon] Fire Services
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.
View:Website (Fire Services Links).
View:Fire Service Links. Fire Fighter Group. Taradale Fire Brigade.
You're looking at the latest 10 entries.
Missed some entries? Then simply jump back 10 entries