Today's photographs come from four emergencies that occurred this month. The first one is a HAZMAT incident that occurred on Monday October 11 in Southampton Twp. Franklin County near Shippensburg. We made a trip to visit Linda's parents and I could not help but drive past to see what was happening, in doing so I caught a couple of shots from across interstate 81. The truck was leaking sulfuric acid, crews handled the situation and returned to service after spending hours on the scene. The next two photos are from an auto accident that was near my home. Shortly after getting home from work on Wednesday October 13TH local companies responded to an accident at the intersection of Church and Mulberry for a van overturned with confinement. Crews worked to remove the patient but unfortunately that person passed away. The next two photographs are of a minor house fire we had in uptown Harrisburg on Saturday October 16Th. Now that I am driving Wagon 3 it keeps me outside at the pump panel when we have handlines off working a fire. I carry a point and shoot Sony Cyber-shot camera in my pocket and capture a few photos if I have time. We arrived to find light smoke showing and found fire to be in the wall from the second to the third floor as a result of an electrical problem. In the 5Th photo Wil Turner (T2) and Dustin Ventresca (T1) fly to the roof to check for fire extension.
The last photograph was taken the same day earlier in the morning when we responded to an automatic fire alarm on Allison Hill. These two guys are my new partners now that I am on the Wagon. For the last 17 years I worked on a ladder truck the last 15-1/2 on Tower 2 but recently I moved to the Wagon and drive for these two guys. This is Deshawn Dennis and Leon Cliatt, they have worked together on this rig for a few years together. I have always respected these two as people and firemen but recently they raised that respect level enormously. Last Monday, October 18TH we responded to a reported fire with people trapped. When we arrived we found three or four homes in a row of six burning with people screaming that there was four kids still inside. Everyone there did their jobs well but what these two guys did was nothing short of heroic and spectacular. After stretching a line they knocked down the outside fire and beat their way into a burning house. Once inside Leon continued to fight the fire alone while Deshawn began searching for trapped occupants. Leon was able to keep the blaze in check allowing a search to take place, Deshawn found one of the kids and removed them to EMS workers. A total of four kids and an adult were pulled from the home, unfortunately they all perished at the hospital. These guys along with everyone else did a superb job under the worst conditions possible and I could not be more proud to call them friends and brother firemen. That guy may not think we are firemen and we do not care what the other guy thinks be we and the citizens of Harrisburg know we are true firemen (you need to be a city jake to understand the last sentence).
Recently because of bad decisions on the part of emergency services people from across the country taking photographs during an emergency has come under fire. I and many others take photographs and I see nothing wrong with it if used properly and not abused. In the first incident a woman died in the accident, you will see no photographs of that lady because I refuse to take any of that subject. You will also see no photos from me of the fatal house fire, the camera was in my pocket but this was not the type of emergency that I would photograph, in fact the only reason I removed the camera from my pocket was to put it in the cab. Photographing emergencies is done for a number of reasons, one is to help in the investigation of what happened, another is to use for training and critiquing the incident and finally to record history. I take photographs for just these reasons and will never abuse my ability to get close to an emergency to take inappropriate photographs.