At 10:45 a.m. today Seattle Fire Department responded to a report of a medical emergency at 1301 Alaskan Way. When firefighters arrived on the scene they found that the patient was aboard a construction barge that was located between 10 and 30 feet from the dock. Private boats shuttled firefighters and paramedics to the barge, where they found a female in her late 30’s who had suffered a head injury after being hit by a crane. Firefighters and paramedics began CPR on the patient immediately. They utilized an extended aerial ladder, ropes and a rescue basket to transfer the patient from the barge to an awaiting medic unit. The patient was taken to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
The Seattle Fire Department temporarily assigned an additional ladder truck and four firefighters to work in West Seattle during the construction of a new on/off ramp to the West Seattle Freeway. As part of the construction project, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will close the westbound 1st Avenue South on- ramp on May 17 which impacts the amount of time it will take for firefighters to cross the bridge to respond to emergencies in West Seattle.
Working in partnership with SDOT, the Fire Department came up with a plan to address the longer response times by placing an extra truck, Ladder 13, in service to ensure that neighborhoods in southwest Seattle continue to receive the same level of fire and emergency medical service throughout the construction project. The ramp portion of the project is expected to last 14 to 18 months.
SDOT’s project will fund the cost of operating and staffing the extra truck.
Ladder 13 is one of the Seattle Fire Department’s reserve fire trucks and will be housed at Fire Station 11 at 1514 Southwest Holden Street during the construction project. Modifications were made to the fire station, including an expanded kitchen and a temporary building with bunk rooms for the four additional firefighters who will work on Ladder 13.
The permanent ladder truck in West Seattle is Ladder 11, housed at Fire Station 32, located at 3715 Southwest Alaska Street.
Seattle Firefighters and Fire Department members will be honored for acts of bravery, heroism and exceptional service as part of the annual Seattle Fire Department Promotions and Awards Night celebration on Friday, April 23 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. Among those who will be honored:
Fire Investigators Jim Berger and Steve Olson – Honored with a Meritorious Service Award for their role in the apprehension of a serial arsonist who terrorized the Greenwood neighborhood for months. In the early morning hours of November 13, 2009, Berger and Olson were patrolling Greenwood in an unmarked vehicle when they heard Seattle Fire units called to assist with a large fire in Shoreline. They drove towards the fire and spotted a person of interest watching the fire from a bus stop. They called in Seattle Police, who arrested the man. He later confessed to setting 10 fires in the Greenwood area.
Firefighter Brian Root – Recognized with a Meritorious Service Award for performing CPR off-duty. While on vacation at Disneyland, Brian Root sprung into action when a five year-old girl was found at the bottom of a hotel pool. She had been there for an undetermined length of time. Root performed CPR on the girl, who was unconscious and had no pulse. After several minutes of CPR, the little girl regained consciousness. She was transported to the hospital by the Anaheim Fire Department and made a full recovery.
Seattle Fire Department will also recognize employees of the year.
- Firefighter of the Year — Janett Wingett, firefighter/dispatcher and 27-year veteran
- Officer of the Year — Captain William Simpson, Technical Rescue Team member and 20-year veteran
- Chief of the Year — Battalion Chief Richard Verlinda, Safety Chief, President of the Chief’s Union, Local 2898 and 27-year veteran
- Lifetime Achievement Award — John Ellis, firefighter/dispatcher and 32-year veteran
- Civilian Employee of the Year — Lynne Kilpatrick, fire code advisor in Fire Marshal’s Office and 15-year veteran
- Customer Service Award — Kathy Moury, receptionist at Fire Department Headquarters
- Community Service Award — Chaplain Joel Ingebritson, Fire Department Chaplain to firefighters and community members
Those who received promotions in 2009 will also be honored at the ceremony.
Just after 8:30 this morning, firefighters responded to a report of an explosion in a metal recycling facility near the intersection of 8th Avenue South and South Chicago Street in the South Park neighborhood. When firefighters arrived on the scene they found a warehouse with the fiberglass windows blown off and large garage doors bowing out.
Representatives from Independent Metals Recycling told firefighters that ten employees were inside the building when the explosion occurred. Paramedics treated two employees for minor injuries and one of those patients was transported to Harborview Medical Center for evaluation.
Firefighters entered the structure with hose lines and found that the automatic sprinkler system had extinguished any fire. A hazardous materials crew monitored the air quality before anyone was allowed back in the building. Despite debris from fallen ceiling tiles and fiberglass windows firefighters determined that the building was structurally sound.
The accidental explosion was caused by a metal propane tank inadvertently placed into a metal recycling shredder. Damage was estimated at $175,000. Approximately 100 Seattle Firefighters responded to the incident.
At 11:40 this morning, firefighters responded to a report of two window washers stuck on a window washing platform near the top of a building. Firefighters arrived to find the two male window washers on a platform around the 35th floor of the Downtown Seattle Sheraton. Both men were conscious and alert.
Seattle Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team went to the roof the building and used a mechanical rope system with ropes, pulleys and rescue harnesses to belay down over the edge of the roof where they could communicate with the window washers. Both men were uninjured.
Firefighters first secured the electrical supply to the platform in order to safely work around it. A firefighter in a rescue harness was then lowered over the edge of the building down to the platform. After the firefighter secured the first window washer into a rescue harness, the firefighters above raised the firefighter and window washer up to safety. Another firefighter was then lowered down to rescue the second window washer. The two window washers remained calm throughout the entire rescue, which took about one hour.
Seattle Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team is trained in high angle rope rescues, as well as other high risk rescues. More information about the Technical Rescue Team is available here: http://www.seattle.gov/fire/firefighting/operations/technicalrescue.htm
Just before 9 a.m. the Fire Department responded to multiple 911 calls reporting that the facade of a building at 5th and Virginia had fallen and hit several people on the sidewalk below. Firefighters treated three patients with non-life threatening injuries. The most seriously injured patient is a 40 year old male who was hit in the head by some of the debris. He suffered a head injury but was alert and talking to firefighters. A 45 year old male was hit with debris as well and complained of back pain. The third patient, a 23 year old female suffered a minor leg injury. All three patients were taken to Harborview Medical Center.
The brick and cement debris fell from an approximately 30 foot wide by 6 foot tall section on the third story of the building. Building inspectors from the City’s Department of Planning and Development inspected the structure for safety.
When an earthquake or terrorist attack causes a freeway or building to collapse, rescuing trapped victims will be a top priority. This month, as part of ongoing Department training, Seattle Firefighters are practicing structural collapse rescue. More than 1,000 Seattle Firefighters will go through the hands on rescue training.
Utilizing a specially built collapse prop, the training simulates the kinds of real life conditions firefighters will encounter in an actual disaster. During each session, 16 firefighters work together in teams to search for and rescue patients using rope rescue equipment, airbags, hydraulic tools, saws, bars, cribbing, rescue baskets and aerial ladders. The training takes place at the City of Seattle’s Joint Training Facility.
Seattle Firefighters worked for forty-five minutes to rescue a construction worker trapped in a trench after the wall he was working on in the front yard of a Magnolia home collapsed and buried him waist deep. Firefighters from the Department’s Technical Rescue team used shoring materials, ladders, and wood to stabilize the 15- foot deep trench. Seattle Public Utilities supplied a vactor truck and worked closely with firefighters to vacuum the dirt and sand out from around the patient until he was free. The man communicated with firefighters throughout the rescue and was transported to Harborview Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
On Saturday, July 11 Seattle firefighters worked with construction crews from GLY Construction to practice high angle rescues at a South Lake Union construction site located at 301 Boren Avenue.
First, firefighters simulated rescuing injured patients from the bottom of the construction pit, which is approximately 100 feet below the street level. They placed the patient on a backboard and then into a Stokes rescue basket. Using ropes and an aerial ladder on a Seattle Fire Department Ladder Truck, they raised the patient out of the pit. Firefighters also collaborated with construction workers to utilize an on-site construction crane to lift a second patient out of the pit.
Following the pit rescues, firefighters from the Seattle Fire Department Technical Rescue Team practiced a high angle rope rescue scenario. A mock crane operator suffered a medical emergency in the cab of a 300 foot-tall tower crane, and firefighters brought the patient to safety using ropes and other specialized equipment.
Students and faculty from the Columbia Basin Job Corps stopped by Fire Station 25 today to say thank you to Seattle Firefighters and Police Officers who responded when their bus crashed last December. Eighty students from the Job Corps were aboard two buses that slid down an icy street and crashed through a guardrail above I-5 on December 19, 2008. The accident happened at the intersection of Thomas and Melrose Streets on Capitol Hill. Firefighters from Engine 25 were among the first to arrive on the scene. Seattle Fire Department crews evaluated the medical condition of all of the students and took eleven of them to Harborview Medical Center with minor injuries.
The group made a trip across the state from Moses Lake to visit with rescuers today. The students presented plaques with a photo of the students and signatures of those who were on board, along with a photo of the crash.