Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More than just a 'hero'

Everyone loves firemen (and paramedics). They are the heroes. Very rarely are people disappointed to see them. Police officers are often hated by people, or at least unappreciated, but not the firemen. All they want to do is help people. They are loved by most everybody. I know of at least 1 person though who wouldn't agree with the 'firemen are heroes philosophy'. My doctor told me the following story.

My doctors brother is an engineer for a fire company in Salt Lake County. (We'll call his brother Marc.) Marcs' company has 4 people on the engine that are all firefighters/paramedics. One night they were paged out to a female who had been stabbed. Officers arrived on scene and declared it safe for fire units to enter. The firefighters went inside and started treating the patient in the living room. The officers and suspect (who is the victims life partner) were also in the room. The suspect was not detained.

***Important side note: Marc is approx 6'5 and about 225 pounds...most of which is muscle. He's not little to say the least. The suspect is a female who is approx 120 pounds soaking wet.

As Marc and his partners were treating the patient, Marc started looking around at his surroundings. As he was watching he noticed the supsect inching her way closer to a china hutch in the room. He was trying to pay attention to his patient but was also staying alert to what was going on in the room. Within just a few seconds he saw the suspect open a drawer on the hutch, grab a knife and start charging towards the victim. Marc decided he needed to do something (especially since the officers noticed a second too late) so less than a second before the suspect would have been on top of the patient with a knife, he reacted. Marc turned, squared off with the suspect and punched her square in the face. Apparently it was one of those punches like you see on tv...where the person being punched is literally lifted off the ground and thrown backwards by the force. The officers were very grateful for Marc's quick reaction. He helped save further injury to the responders and the patient. Marc was a little annoyed, because they now had 2 patients instead of 1 because of his actions.

It turns out that the suspect decided that day that she wasn't a big fan of the 'city heroes' who came to help her out, and probably won't be for a good deal of the future. Marc also made a decision. He decided it's good he isn't an officer...he got a taste and it turned out the bite was more bitter than he expected. He learned that day that firefighters have other responsibilites than those that have made them heroes. His job is to save his patients, and that day he definately did. It also taught him (and me) that you never know what's going to happen. At any second a medical call can turn into just about anything! Just another reason to be safe out there.

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