Here are two videos from a drowning of a man on Tuesday in a retention pond in Champaign, Illinois. The actions of police officers and firefighters has become a bit controversial as some question why they didn’t go after the man sooner.
The man, 20-year-old Kenneth Brown, had run from police and jumped into the pond. Rather than excerpt some detailed articles about the incident, here are links to two articles that describe the concerns expressed by citizens and the responses from public safety officials.
Raw video as citizens, firefighters and police officers teamed up to rescue an elderly woman just in time as her car was quickly sinking in Portland Harboron Friday afternoon. The 84-year-old woman lost control of the vehicle as she was driving on India Street.
Just as the accident happened, Lt. Robert Slaving said the fire department was training a short distance from the site and responded within 30 seconds. He said the rescue squad was able to get in the water quickly and help get the driver the rest of the way out of the car and back onto the land.
Slaving said without the efforts of the emergency personnel and Good Samaritans, the accident might not have ended with a positive result. “It might have been a different outcome,” he said.
Katie Nelson of Biddeford was having lunch at Benkay on India Street when she saw a car speeding by and then heard a crash. She went outside to see what had happened, and saw 84 year-old Ursula Nixon’s car in Portland Harbor.
Nelson wasted no time jumping into the water to help. She climbed onto the car and in the rear window.
“I just remember pulling myself up and and looking in at her and there was water all in the front of the car and she was in the front seat,” Nelson told NEWS CENTER. “so I just, I said, ‘Hi I’m Katie,’ and she’s like, ‘I don’t want to die in here, I’m going to drown.’”
In two recent posts (here & here) I complained about our society’s appetite for animal stories and how we often lose site of, or care little about similar stories involving humans. So, what am I doing this morning? I am offering up an animal rescue video. The editor of this rag is such a damn hypocrite!
But I’m also adding a human rescue. One involving little children, the other sure fire way to attract attention on TV and the Internet. Before I go any further, let me make it clear, with all sincerity, I am very glad the human and animal victims in these videos are safe and that there were firefighters and others who cared enough to make sure that happened.
The first is from Poulan, Georgia (Worth County) on Friday. A 12-year-old blind dog named Gracie fell down a well and was there for 45 minutes before a combination of the Poulan Police Department, Poulan Fire Department, Public Works and Worth Fire/Rescue made sure Gracie got out.
Which rescue video will be more popular, Gracie the dog or mom and two kids?
Below is the other rescue. Newsworking’s Bill Rohrer captured the video of a mother and two young children being rescued from the rocks on the Lehigh River under the Chestnut Street Bridge in Coplay, Pennsylvania Saturday after their raft punctured. Here’s Bill’s account:
At 17:45, Coplay Fire #5 and Cetronia EMS were dispatched for the water rescue. Once on scene, they requested the dive team and marine units from Whitehall and Northampton.
A paramedic from Cetronia went out into the water and grabbed the lady while she hung on to her children. A member from Whitehall’s Dive unit went out and brought the two children to safety before the marine units were launched. All 3 were brought to safety without injury.
So, let’s see which of the two videos gets more views. Will people care more about the rescue of the dog or the children? At least when I pander, I try to disguise it as having a greater good. With a thought process like that, maybe I have a future with this news thingy?
Again, I am glad all are safe. It is nice to see tragic endings avoided.
And speaking of being a hypocrite, I must credit my personal nemesis THE Fire Critic with posting these videos first. Apparently he’s back in the blogging business after taking most of the summer off. Why I point you toward his site and all the free things he’s giving away is beyond me. I must truly feel sorry for him.
From press release by Mark Brady, PGFD (Still images by Brady & video by William “Hawk” Hawkins, Fire Chiefs Aide):
On a day when storms rolled through Prince George’s County with heavy rains, high winds and threats of tornado’s, the Fire/EMS Department Technical Services Team was kept busy. The team handles complex rescues involving collapse, confined space, high angle and swift water. The teams had to utilize two of those skills while performing the rescue of three teen-aged males from the swollen and swift moving Northwest Branch waterway.
Sometime after 7:00 pm several residents of the Mount Rainier and Brentwood Community came outdoors during a break in the storms. The power of Mother Nature was evident near the 38th Street Bridge in Mount Rainier. One resident saw three teen aged males walking near the shoreline. She turned away for just a moment and when she looked back she saw them in the water frantically attempting to make their way back to the safety of the shore. They didn’t stand a chance swimming in the swift moving water and were carried downstream. They passed a concrete bridge support and each one was able to grab onto and climb on to the wide base. They became stranded and trapped with the water level continuing to rise. The witness called 911 and a response of Fire/EMS Units from Bunker Hill, Hyattsville and Chillum responded to the scene as well as the Departments Technical Services Team and rescue boats from the Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad and Marine Division. Firefighters worked rapidly to devise a plan to retrieve the teens. Another thunderstorm was approaching and the water level in the Northwest Branch continued to rise.
A system of ropes and pulleys were set up with the assistance of the ladder from Hyattsville. Firefighter Joe Ford was placed into a harness and lowered over the bridge and down about 25 feet to the water level. He explained to the anxious teens how the rescue would work; the teens would be raised to the top of the bridge one at a time. Once on the bridge level they were treated for hypothermia by medics. All three were removed at about 8:20 pm and transported to a hospital in good condition.
The successful outcome of this incident was a result of coordination and teamwork by all personnel on the scene. Incident Commanders, firefighters, EMT’s, Paramedics, Technical Services and Marine Division personnel, both volunteer, career and civilian, worked cohesively to bring this potentially tragic incident to a extremely positive outcome.
Heavy rains on ground already saturated by Hurricane Irene kept firefighters busy in and around Baltimore County. There have been numerous water rescue calls in the western and northern part of the county and northern Howard County. Many of these areas have not seen rising waters like this since Tropical Storm Agnes in June, 1972.
In one operation six firefighters from Baltimore County had a bit of a close call after one rescue boat capsized and another got stuck.Two of the firefighters ended up clinging to trees.
A swift water rescue boat carrying two firefighters capsized in the Patapsco River near Catonsville while they responded to rescue calls near the Howard County line, said Baltimore County spokeswoman Elise Armacost. Four firefighters had to bail out of another boat that got stuck, but all six were eventually accounted for.
Baltimore County firefighter Jason Porrovicchio. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)
After the boat flipped in the current, fire specialist Donald Pruitt was able to cling to a tree, but firefighter Jason Porrovicchio said he ended up about 300 yards downstream. There, he held tight to a branch in the water rushing fast enough to knock down trees until it broke and he managed to swim out.
“It was scary,” Porrovicchio said. “It was my first time as a victim.”
Porrovicchio made his way upstream to help rescue Pruitt, who had been holding on to a tree for half an hour. Other rescuers were then able to pull him to safety.
When they got out, Porrovicchio says the men hugged and then they were checked out by medics. Pruitt was taken to an area hospital with a shoulder injury.
A firefighter was rescued from swift water in the Catonsville area after he became trapped during a rescue operation. Elise Armacost, with the Baltimore County Fire Department, told ABC2 News that one firefighter was pulled to safety after clinging to a tree.
Five other firefighters were able to swim to safety after the went into the water.
As firefighters from Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg went to work yesterday afternoon trying to get to a man stranded in the middle of the raging Rappahannock River, WUSA-TV photographer Kurt Brooks also went to work. Above is Kurt's raw video and below is an interview reporter Peggy Fox did with Kurt.
A man was rescued from the Rappahannock River Tuesday afternoon after he fell from a boat.
A call went out around 1:30 p.m. for a person in the water in a nearby quarry, says the Fredericksburg Fire Department. The Fredericksburg Fire Department responded and found two witnesses who advised the man was in fact in the river on some rocks.
Mark Doyle with Stafford County Fire says the man fell out of the boat and was unable to get to shore. He was standing on a rock and holding on to a tree branch, but even so, the water was up to his knees.
Fredericksburg City fire rescue personnel with assistance from Stafford County went out in a Fredericksburg City Fire zodiac boat from a nearby quarry. Falmouth Fire was on standby.
Fire rescue personnel located the man about 75 yards up river from the I-95 bridge. They encountered some language problems at first because the man only spoke Spanish, but they reached him and pulled him to safety in their boat.
We were originally told the man was transported by Medic 2 to Mary Washington Hospital, but a battalion fire chief with the Fredericksburg Fire Department official later said the man was conscious, alert, not injured and refused medical treatment. He also says the police questioned him and then let him go on his way.
He has been identified only as a Hispanic, 26-year-old man from Fredericksburg.
It is unclear what the man was doing before he fell into the river, but it is believed he may have been fishing in a rock quarry before he wound up in the river itself.
Authorities advise the river is not at flood stage but is much higher and swifter now than normal. Under normal circumstances, there are still dangers associated with the river, but authorities advise they are currently under a flash flood watch. Rain has been heavy all day long in their area. They advise people to stay off of and out of the river at this time
This rescue Tuesday was the first time Fredericksburg Fire Department had used their new Zodiac motorized rescue boat, which they received due to a grant just last month.
On board these New Jersey National Guard vehicles Sunday morning were five soldiers, a police officer and New Jersey Star-Ledger photographer Tony Kurdzuk. According to the Star-Ledger, they were on a mission to aid law enforcement when they were diverted to the town of Manville. This is where South Main Street and Kennedy Boulevard intersect. Chief Warrant Officer Patrick Daugherty told the paper as they tried to make their way down the flooded roadway the vehicles soon shut down.
An onlooker with a camera proceeds to heckle the guardsmen.
“Are you guys that stupid?”
“Why would you take a guy that can’t swim?”
“You guys are stupid.”
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Patrick Daugherty, a spokesman for the New Jersey National Guard, said it was an ambitious effort that took an unexpected turn.
"In many cases, soldiers, fireman, policeman, they overcome the impossible," he said. "Sometimes, they enter the darkest places that people would never enter. Those soldiers were there to search for and assist residents of New Jersey who needed help. … Unfortunately, things didn't work out right."
Around noon on Sunday New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reported a Princeton firefighter had died during a rescue operation early this morning. That information turned out to not be correct. The rescuer did not die, but is in critical condition.
In addition, the person is a 39-year-old member of the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad. The name has not been released.
The official infomation from Princeton Township is that two members of the squad were returning on foot from checking out a vehicle near Johnson Park School that was partially submerged when one of the two slipped into the rushing water. Both squad members were then "unsecured in the water". One of the pair was unharmed and the other was "found unconscious". EMS, fire & police were initially dispatched to the call around 4:30 AM. The vehicle turned out to be empty.
The Governor's report of a Princeton Firefighter death last night is inaccurate. The correct report is that a Princeton First Aid member was critically injured early this morning during a rescue operation. Our thoughts go out to him and his family.
The Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad swift water rescue technicians entered the water in an attempt to determine if persons were trapped inside the vehicle, according to the release. During the course of the rescue attempt it was determined that the conditions were too dangerous for the technicians to continue the rescue, and the two assigned rescuers were recalled. While attempting to return to safety, one of the rescuers slipped into the rapid current which set off a series of events which caused both rescuers to be cast unsecured into the water, according to the press statement.
One of the rescuers was able to gain his footing and was brought to safety without incident. The second rescuer was located and found unconscious, and life-saving efforts were initiated at the scene. The second rescuer, whose name is being withheld by police, was transported to a local hospital and was in critical condition, police said.
Gov. Chris Christie, at a press conference this afternoon, said that a firefighter in Princeton “succumbed to his injuries from an attempted swift water rescue.”
But the governor's office has acknowledged that Christie was incorrect. The fire fighter is still alive in the ICU, according to Princeton Township Mayor Chad Goerner, who spoke with The Associated Press.
One firefighter was killed this morning during a water rescue operation near Johnson Park Elementary School in Princeton, New Jersey. Here's what is known so far.
A man taking pictures fell into the rain swollen Potomac River in Georgetown last night. DC Fire & EMS Department photographer Vito Maggiolo was on the scene and shot the video above as firefighters brought the man to safety. According to spokesman Pete Piringer, the man was uninjured and declined treatment.
The management of Jeff Ruby’s Waterfront thought they had it all figured out. Instead of having their floating restaurant in Covington, Kentucky shut down every time the Ohio River spilled its banks they bought a floating ramp five-years-ago that allowed staff and customers to come aboard. Because of this, unlike neighboring restaurants, Jeff Ruby’s Waterfront stayed open last night.
On Thursday, WCPO-TV in Cincinnati featured the fact that the restaurant would be open despite the high waters (see third video down). Some nice, free publicity. But the cameras returned last night, along with the live trucks, for a different kind of story.
Around 10:15 PM, the floating restaurant turned into a dinner cruise after the building broke free from its moorings. Luckily the cruise didn’t get very far and you have the news media to thank for that (sort of). The runaway restaurant hit the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge. The bridge is named after a prominent local reporter (see, all of us aren’t bad).
The rescue operation was a slow one and the bridge had to be shut down until it was inspected. The man whose name is on the restaurant showed leadership and found a way to get on board to calm his customers (one of the customers was former Bengals wide receiver Cris Collingsworth). Jeff Ruby also faced the cameras after it was all over.
There is raw video of the Covington Fire Department’s rescue operation at the bottom of this post.
From WCPO-TV (WCPO also has more clips of its live, breaking news coverage of the incident):
The restaurant was lodged under the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge, which kept it from drifting down the river. Tugboats surrounding the restaurant kept it in place, as well.
Crews used ladders and ropes to rescue everyone on board. A walking board was placed on top of the ladders in an effort to evacuate more guests at a faster rate. Authorities say the restaurant drifted about 100 yards from the dock.
People could only be rescued one at a time, which is why it took several hours to evacuate the boat. No injuries were reported.
Water rescue teams and Covington Police and Fire Departments immediately responded and were able to secure the boat. Then they had to get 83 people off the boat. They used a ladder from the shore to the boat because the ramps were no longer usable.
The people had to come down one by one on the ladder with life jackets on. Many women had to take off their high heels so they could walk on the runged ladder.
Restaurant owner Jeff Ruby said he went to the restaurant after hearing about the incident in phone calls from an assistant manager and his lawyer.
Ruby said they didn’t know what happened, but that once he got to the scene his priority was to get on the boat to be with his customers and employees. Once he managed to get on board, he went from table to table to meet with customers and said that everyone on board was very orderly.
Asked if the high water had anything to do with what happened, Ruby said,” We’ve been open in higher waters.”
Police indicated it could take several hours to get everyone off the boat, and about 25 had been removed by 12:30 a.m. By 1 a.m., most of the customers had been taken off, Ruby said.
The bridge was immediately closed to traffic. Ervin said it would remain closed until a state inspector could check out the bridge, since the boat had hit one of its supports.
Rescue crews in Frederick County are being hailed as heroes this Memorial Day after saving the life of a kayaker in distress.
It all happened Monday morning on the Potomac River near the Brunswick Campgrounds.
The kayaker was fishing when his morning took a turn for the worse. When he threw out his anchor, the current swiftly dragged his kayak under water.
“The report that we got was there was one under water and four others trying to assist and maybe one of those was in trouble,” rescuer Nelson Smith said.
Friends helped keep his head above water as nearby campers looked on, and the rapid water rescue teams of Frederick County were called to help. But they were stopped on their way to the scene.
“It was difficult to get here, the CSX train had us blocked,” said Brunswick Fire Chief Roy Lipscomb.
“The train came down to stop at the crosswalk, started up, stopped, started up, stopped, then finally moved out of the way. About a twenty minute wait,” Smith said.
The road to the launching ramp in Brunswick crosses heavily used CSX tracks, and a freight train sat across the road Monday as rescuers responded. Frantic calls from the Frederick County Fire dispatch finally got the train moved, and rescuers could travel down the dusty road to the ramp.
Soon the boat launched and the victim was pulled from the water and transported back to shore for a medical checkup. Water rescue crews respond to dozens of calls along the river each year, and train crossing delays are not uncommon.
“Time is of the essence on water rescues, it takes us four or five minutes to get the boat hooked up, drive down here, then a few more minutes to get the boat launched, so you are looking at a ten minute time frame, then yo wait another 20 minutes for the train to clear, not a good thing,” Smith explains.
Fortunately, this kayaker was able to make it safely to shore, even though it took a lot longer than everyone hoped.
The Department of Family and Protective Services says more people drown between Memorial Day and Labor Day than during any other time of the year.
The latest video from Gary, Indiana: This house fire was early Monday morning at 824 Van Buren.
Firefighter sets home on fire next door to firehouse. House owned by fellow firefighter who was asleep with his wife inside. Suspect in other fires: The way fire marshals tell it, 21-year-old Jesse Patrick Marcel, an on-call firefighter at the Little Caillou Fire Department in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, went back to sleep inside the firehouse after setting the shed next door on fire. He didn’t bother to alert Firefighter Whyley Pellegrin or his wife about the fire that spread from the shed to their house where they were inside asleep. When they awoke, Pellegrin ran next door and, with Marcel, began extinguishing the fire. Soon investigators discovered there was more to this story. Click here. Marcel is now a suspect in three other fires. Here’s that story.
A night time rescue of a man clinging to a rock in the rain swollen Rappahannock River. Lt. Mark Stone tells us the Stafford Fire & Rescue Department was joined by the Fredericksburg Fire Department in making the rescue around 9:45 PM after about an hour into the operation. A rope system and rescue swimmers were used to get the guy out from about 100 feet below the I-95 bridge. More later.
Daytona Beach says it is stopping automatic mutual aid: Saying the balance is unfair after a cut back in the number of county firefighters, Daytona Beach Fire Chief Gary Hughes says they will no longer automatically send firefighters outside of the city limits. Click here for the story.
You weren’t going to pry it from his cold, dead hands: Thankfully it didn’t quite come to that in the Normans Kill River in Albany last week. Cold yes, but David Kelley was very much alive when rescued from the raging waters. Kelley had decided he wasn’t coming out without what brought him to the river in the first place: A new custom fly rod. Click here for the story, video and pictures.
Mayor plans to close fire company to meet court order on minimum staffing: In Erie, Pennsylvania Mayor Joe Sinnott has told the fire chief to close a fire station within the next 30 days. The mayor says that is the only way to follow a judge’s order that they must live up to staffing requirements agreed to in its labor contract with firefighters. Here are the details.
A wannabe has his day in court: A judge in Michigan says a man who has been pretending to be a member of the Pinconning Fraser Fire Department must get mental health counseling. Scott Winchell claims to have a desire to help when he shows up at the scene in a car with flashing lights and wearing a fire department cap and sweatshirt. Read more.
A Kanawha County firefighter was lost and presumed dead in Raleigh County overnight, after the boat he was in capsized.
The firefighter, whose name was not released Saturday morning, was in the Bradley area on a rescue mission when a boat that he and several other firefighters were in turned over.
“It appears that he was lost when his boat capsized,” Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said Saturday morning. “They are hoping they can find him. We’ve got a Blackhawk helicopter, other people from Kanawha County, the National Guard … they’re all out there looking.”
The other firefighters who were in the boat are OK, he said.
He was just a man standing waist deep in water and no one knew exactly why. The water, of course, was partially frozen and a big concern for the firefighters and police officers responding to the Northwest Branch near the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Piney Branch Road around 8:30 this morning.
As Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Chief Spokesman Mark Brady tells us there were also some other concerns as the crew from Engine 834 assessed the situation underneath the New Hampshire Avenue bridge. Here are excerpts from the PGFD PIO Blog:
Commands in English and Spanish were directed at the individual who did not respond and stood motionless in the water. A request for the Fire/EMS Departments Technical Rescue Team (TRT) was made to help in the removal of the individual.
As members of the TRT donned their cold weather gear and dry suits a request was made that police officers accompany firefighters due to the unstable and unpredictable condition of the male. The individual had never displayed his left hand and police could not determine if he was armed or not and was displaying an altered mental status. For the safety and well-being of everyone involved; 2 police officers donned cold weather gear dry suits and entered the water with the firefighters.
At about 9:30 AM, the combined rescue team of firefighters and police officers effected the removal of the male from the water and provided him to the care of paramedics. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment of hypothermia and other evaluation.
Raw video from scrapyard fire in Houston: This fire was reported around 10:45 AM on Sunday near the Houston Ship Channel. No injuries were reported.
Prince George’s County, Maryland staffing levels questioned on two, 3-alarm fires: Click here for a press release from IAFF Local 1619 describing multiple units that failed to respond or had only two firefighters on board as PGFD handled two, three-alarm, garden-apartment fires in as many days. Click here and here for coverage of the fires. We have requested a response from PGFD officials.
Arson spree leaves two dead in Northampton, Massachusetts. Fireground audio, video, pictures, and details: A dozen fires or attempted fires in 75 minutes with two people dead, but officials aren’t using the word arson. The fires are labeled as suspicious. We have the dramatic fireground audio as dispatchers, firefighters and police try to keep up with the fires early Sunday morning. Click here for our coverage.
Two fires are 30-hours and 1-block apart in Woonsocket, Rhode Island: We have video from both extra-alarm fires in vacant multi-family homes. Check it out.
Most popular stories contest: Figure out what were the five most popular stories on STATter911.com in 2009 and win a prize. Dave takes the winner to lunch. (“Oh yeah, he’s a prize”, Mrs. STATter911.com was heard saying.) Click here for the details.
Must see video of Saturday's water rescue in Middletown, Pennsylvania (Delaware County) of a mother and her 14-year-old daughter. Some of the rescuers were treated for hypothermia. Click the image for the video, pictures and details.