Here Say: Your Stories about Rescue, Told at Fire Station No. 1

Jul 14, 2015

Here Say is a project in community storytelling. We travel to a new place each week and ask people to share true stories about things we all experience: love, family, learning and more. To see where we've been, check out our interactive map. And to hear your favorite stories from last season, you can find our free podcast on itunes.

Tim Taylor told us that the Hollywood scene of a firefighter carrying people from a blazing building is not all that common, but saving lives still happens.

 

You could define rescue in a number of ways. Personally, I’ve--if you want to call it a rescue,--I personally have helped save the life--my crew and I-- of 14 different people who were in cardiac arrest. I mean technically we rescued them. They were dead on the street and we brought them back. And that’s extremely rewarding, I mean extremely rewarding to know that you can, um, have a...what do I want to say… that you can have an effect on somebody to that great of an extent. To actually, they’re dead here and two weeks later they come to your fire station and shake your hand.

  

Kurt Fansler remembers an unforgettable call in the middle of a snowstorm.

Kurt Fansler
Credit Abigail Keel / KBIA

We get to the residence and she’s got two sons that are sitting on the couch. And all they see is the big red fire truck and the guys come running in. They don’t know why we’re there, but mom’s in the bathroom and has just delivered a baby sister. So anyway we go in and clean up the baby and cut the umbilical cord and, I mean, it’s brand new life. It’s pretty cool.

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Kamp says firefighters share lots of stories about their work, and that sharing those stories is part therapy, and part a learning experience about the big things, and the little details that make a difference.

Jennifer Kamp
Credit Abigail Keel / KBIA

We do sit around and we tell stories and talk about things different people did on different calls. And that’s just how we kind of cope and not only learn, but we have to emotionally dump as well.

So telling stories amongst ourselves, and we all hear good stories of good things that other co-workers have done. And you’re like “Aw, that was an awesome thing to think of to go do.”

Sometimes it’s just little things of, you know, grabbing someone’s purse, or making sure their door is locked when we’re taking them out on a stretcher. Just little things like that. Where over time you just, you watch other people work and you pick up on just little things you can do.

  Finally, Eric Cranmer told us that yes, firefighters save cats.

Eric Cranmer
Credit Abigail Keel / KBIA

We got to a house that was on fire, mostly the garage area, but had extended into the house a little bit.  And uh, the rest of the house was completely filled with smoke. And cats, they like to hide. And the crews just searched for them and ended up finding them in the couch.

Sara: And it can’t be easy to extract a cat from a couch when you’re in fire gear, right?

Haha right. Yeah, they make it difficult. You’d think they want to get right out. But they’re just as scared of us as they are the fire.

Fire Station No. 1