Posts Tagged ‘firefighters’
A homeless Winnipeg man risked his life to save a teenager from the Red River on Sunday afternoon.
Faron Hall, 44, who lives on the banks of the Red in St. Boniface, said he saw the male teen fall from the Provencher Bridge above where he was sitting with friend Wayne Spence. Hall said the teen appeared to jump.
“He was saying, ‘It’s cold! Help me!’ and I just threw off my backpack and ran down and dived in,” said Hall, who is originally from Dakota Tipi First Nation but mostly grew up in foster care in Winnipeg.
Hall said he managed to get a grip of the teen about 30 metres from the bank but was afraid both would be swept away by the rapid, cold waters.
“He was fighting me and I told him, ‘Don’t fight me! I’m trying to save you. Otherwise we’re both going to drown’,” Hall said. “He was pushing me under and I had to slap him in the head. I hated to do it, but I said, ‘I’ll bring us to shore. Just trust me.’ He went limp and I got him to the grass.”
Hall said his friend Spence helped pull the exhausted and freezing Hall and the teen out.
“The firefighters said to me, ‘You’re a hero, you saved a life’.” Hall said. “I said, ‘Well, possibly, but can I get a blanket? I’m kind of cold.’ “
Hall downplayed the hero tag.
“I don’t think I’m a hero. I’m just a human being,” he said yesterday.
Hall was transported to St. Boniface General Hospital — along with the teen, whose condition is unknown — where he warmed up for several hours before being released. Before leaving the hospital, he visited the teen he pulled from the river.
“I just asked him, ‘Why?’ That’s all I said to him,” Hall said. “He just said he was sorry.”
Hall said he’d like to see the teen and his family in the future.
“I’m not ever going to forget what I saw,” Hall said of the incident. “That boy’s got his whole life ahead of him.”
Hall is no stranger to tragedy. His sister Kristi Hall, 36, was stabbed to death in a random attack in July 2007 in the North End.
“Maybe that’s why I didn’t want to let anyone else die,” he said of the river rescue.
Hall, who has been homeless for about seven years, said he spent Sunday night at the Main Street Project shelter on Martha Street but sleeps year-round along the banks of the Red near the rescue spot, where he said he plans to continue living.
“I just do my own thing,” Hall said. “I don’t bother anybody.”
After graduating high school, Hall said he worked as a teacher’s aide while studying education at the University of Manitoba for two years before his life took a turn for the worse.
“That’s when I hit alcoholism,” Hall said. “I’ve had so many pitfalls in my life.”
Hall said he last worked on construction jobs in Saskatchewan before returning to Winnipeg about 10 years ago.
Read more: Homeless man saves teen from drowning
“I thank God that I was able to get the lady out of the house.” said Bobbie Wright, who spends most of her time helping people. She seats and watches over physically challenged kids on the school bus and when she and her co-worker passed by a home on fire, they had to help save a life.
“I told Bobbie, I said Bobbie she’s trying to get out, there’s someone trapped inside and then Bobbie said ‘Open the door, let me out’ and I opened the door and she RAN out.” said bus driver Stephanie Bayless.
Firefighters believe the fire probably started in the living room area where 65-year-old Jimmy Wayne McKnight was bedridden in a hospital bed.
His caregiver Louise Pinkston heard the smoke alarm and told firefighters what happened next. “She attempted to go to the living room area where Mr. McKnight was at and it’s my understanding at that point she could not get to him or get him out” said Horn Lake Fire Chief David Linville.
Pinkston’s attempts at putting out the fire also failed. The only thing she could do was escape.
When Firefighters arrived they found smoke pouring form over opening of the house, and flames shooting out the living room and kitchen windows.
Ms. Pinkston managed to get to the other end of the house and out a small bathroom window.
That’s when Wright and Bayless passed by, and jumped into action. “She was hollering and so she was trying to lift the window up but she couldn’t get it up so I lift the window up, pushed the window up and got her out the fire,” explained Wright.
Wright herself tried to put out the fire, first by breaking a front window with an landscape timber, then with a garden hose.
Ms. Pinkston suffered heavy smoke inhilation, singed hair and minor burns.
As to why she felt compelled to help, Wright says the answer is simple. “I would want someone to do that for me or do that for my family if something like that happened, so that’s what I did, I just react.” she smiled.
Read more and watch this story: School Bus Crew Saves Woman From Burning House
Photo: From Flickr user hotonpictures
He’s received national attention and a national award for serving those who put their lives on the line every day.
Raleigh’s Barry Doyle has been helping Wake County firefighters for 15 years by doing what he does best — cooking.
The Swift Creek Fire Department, which is across the street from his restaurant, was dispatched to a massive vehicle pileup and subsequent fire caused by the storm.
After hours on the job, Swift Creek firefighters called Doyle asking him to bring them, and hundreds of other firefighters from other departments dispatched to the scene, some hot coffee.
After having to make multiple trips back and forth in his SUV, Doyle saw there was a need to help firefighters and other first responders.
Now, Doyle drives around in a Winnebago that’s been converted into a kitchen on wheels.
Whenever there’s a big fire, Doyle can meet crews on the scene and provide hot coffee and food, refueling hungry firefighters so they can continue to help others.
In addition to providing food, Doyle also provides a restroom for firefighters and a nice place in the back of his converted Winnebago for firefighters to come in and take a break.
“He is part of our fire department. He’s taken care of us at his own expense many times, and gone out of our way, and it doesn’t matter what time of day or night you call him, he’s always there,” said Capt. Dennis Holland with the Swift Creek Fire Department.
Read more and watch this story: Raleigh Man Feeds Firefighters
Georgetown County has something be proud of. Their school system is leading the way in South Carolina in making unique employment opportunities for students getting ready to graduate high school.
When the 14 students enrolled in the class complete their requirements they will be certified and ready to be hired as firefighters anywhere in the country when they turn 18.
It’s the perfect opportunity for students who may not see college as an option for any number of reasons, including financial reasons.
Even for those who choose to go to college after high school and those who don’t go into firefighting, the class teaches important life skills.
Read more and watch that story: New program makes high school students firefighters after graduation