FIRE DEPARTMENTS  © 2013  Terms and Conditions

Copyright © 2016 The Cicero Volunteer Fire Department - Cicero, New York

All Rights Reserved

"Fear is NOT an Option"

PROTECTING   THE   LIVES

 

 

 

 

AND   PROPERTY  FROM  FIRE 

"EMS Agency of the Year" 

On Friday, September 18, 2015, at 5:04pm, the Cicero Fire Department was dispatched for a tractor trailer accident involving another vehicle. Initial communications were not very specific, but subsequent reports from the scene painted a complicated picture. Additional reports identified a passenger vehicle had rolled over, there were wires and a utility pole down, and the rolled-over vehicle was under the tractor trailer. But it was not until each responder arrived to the scene, that the absolute magnitude of this event became clear. The first-arriving Cicero Fire Department Chiefs found the tractor on top of the over-turned minivan, with people trapped but partially ejected. This was further complicated as the two vehicles were balanced on a downed utility pole with live wires within 4 feet of the vehicles. Additional resources were immediately needed, requested, and dispatched to the scene.

 

Several neighboring Departments were listening to the alarm, volunteered their crews and were sent to assist.

 

Crews from Cicero, Brewerton, North Syracuse, South Bay, Clay, Moyers Corners, Caughdenoy and Minoa Fire Departments all played an important part in the rescue operations. The initial extrication operation and rescue lasted over 2 hours, and the subsequent recovery operation extended the total time of the incident to nearly 9 hours.

 

Several other agencies played a vital role in ensuring the safety and security of the Fire Department personnel while on scene.

 

Cicero Police, New York State Troopers and Onondaga County Sheriff's Deputies provided traffic control, crowd control and basic scene safety. EAVES Ambulance provided Firefighter Rehab, as it was a humid night with an extended, complicated rescue operation. National Grid had a vehicle and technician on scene in about 12 minutes to identify and secure downed power lines; this technician then secured all power west of the Interstate 81 overpass, over the rescue operation, to allow all rescuers to work without fear of an electrical hazard. This technician then facilitated securing the upper-end of the downed utility pole to reduce the chance of shifting or a collapse hazard.

 

Big Red Heavy Wrecker was on scene in about 22 minutes with equipment to help secure the tractor to prevent shifting or a collapse hazard, allowing the several dozen rescue personnel to more-safely work on the overturned minivan. Navac Ambulance and Brewerton Ambulance had crews on scene to care for and transport the patients once they were extricated. Onondaga County Air-1 helicopter was on scene with a flight paramedic to provide aerial photographs and air transport, if needed.

 

The University Hospital Trauma Physician arrived to the scene to assist with the medical care of the trapped patients.

 

Byrne Dairy at Route 31 and Route 11 was quickly chosen by rescue personnel as the closest resource for drinks for the dozens of rescue personnel on scene. The management allowed the crews to obtain several cases of bottled water and sports drinks to help prevent heat-related illnesses, without the need for immediate payment. Later in the evening, it was learned that the business refused to accept any payment for products, and were fully donating all items to the Cicero Fire Department.

 

Mark's Pizzeria of Cicero provided several sheet pizzas at a discount to help feed the dozens of personnel on scene late into the night.

 

Onondaga County 911 Emergency Communications Center emergency call takers and dispatchers took a large volume of information, processed that information and made rapid decisions in real-time to aid the crews on scene.

 

New York State Department of Transportation was on scene to remove the downed utility pole and disable the remaining traffic lights.

 

New York State Highway brought crews and equipment to the scene to re-route the traffic and had the East-West Route 31 corridor open to traffic before 3am Saturday morning.

 

The Onondaga County Department of Emergency Management Critical Incident Stress Management Team met with several of the rescuers 3 days later to ensure the mental and physical health of those involved with the operation.

 

University Hospital Emergency Department Trauma Physicians and support staff received 2 very critical patients from the crash and the firefighter that was transported due to dehydration and exhaustion.

The Onondaga County Medical Examiner's Office and District Attorney's Office had personnel on the scene early into the incident to gather information, that will help with the investigation.  

 

And last, but not least, several members of the public that witnessed the tragedy, rushed to the scene to help immediately after the accident, or called to report details that helped direct the early stages of the operation.

 

It is only now, 6 months after the incident, that those involved can fully comprehend the magnitude of the scene. The fact that we required over a dozen agencies and over 100 total personnel to perform our duties on the evening of September 18, 2015, ensures this event will be reviewed and critiqued for some time to come. Words cannot express the gratitude we have for all those individuals, agencies and business listed above. The Chief's Office and all the members of the Cicero Volunteer Fire Department are grateful for your assistance and support during and after this incident.

 

Therefore, I am formally submitting Deputy Chief Brian Johnstone, 1st Assistant Chief James Meyers, 2nd Assistant Chief George Barrett, Captain Kyle Dreverman, Firefighter/EMT Michael Flanagan, and Firefighter/EMT John Flanagan for Firefighter of the Year.

 

 

 

 

Submission for John Flanagan as Firefighter / EMT of the Year

 

John has been a member for only 2.5 years, but has made a huge impact on our organization. He started as an Explorer, then a full Fire Fighter. He quickly completed his EMT-Basic and began Nursing School. He then enrolled-in and completed his AEMT curriculum. But in that short time, he has been instrumental on several serious alarms.

 

On August 13, 2015, he provided BLS on-scene care for a Level-1 Trauma patient, a male with a traumatic leg amputation, then rendered ALS care en route to assist the transporting crew. He has initiated BLS care on scene of several full arrests, then continued with the transporting agency to render ALS care en route to the receiving hospitals.

 

But one alarm stands-out above and beyond all the others.

 

On Friday, September 18, 2015, at 5:04pm, the Cicero Fire Department was dispatched for a tractor trailer accident involving another vehicle. Initial communications were not very specific, but subsequent reports from the scene painted a complicated picture. Additional reports identified a passenger vehicle had rolled over, there were wires and a utility pole down, and the rolled-over vehicle was under the tractor trailer. But it was not until each responder arrived to the scene, that the absolute magnitude of this event became clear. The first-arriving Cicero Fire Department Chiefs found the tractor on top of the over-turned minivan, with people trapped but partially ejected. This was further complicated as the two vehicles were balanced on a downed utility pole with live wires within 4 feet of the vehicles. Additional resources were immediately needed, requested, and dispatched to the scene.

 

Several neighboring Departments were listening to the alarm, volunteered their crews and were sent to assist. Crews from Cicero, Brewerton, North Syracuse, South Bay, Clay, Moyers Corners, Caughdenoy and Minoa Fire Departments all played an important part in the rescue operations. The initial extrication operation and rescue lasted over 2 hours, and the subsequent recovery operation extended the total time of the incident to nearly 9 hours. Over 100 personnel from over a dozen agencies responded to the scene.

In spite of the live power lines, hazardous materials, collapse hazard, and eventually a deceased victim in the passenger compartment, John worked inside the overturned vehicle for nearly 2 hours to free the 2 victims that were extricated alive. Unable to use oxygen or any other BLS items because of the conditions, and unable to use ALS interventions because of the location of the victims, John kept the 2 victims alive throughout the rescue effort using only his skill and knowledge.

 

While John is an AEMT, he acted as an EMT-Basic during this duration of this incident (as we are a BLS Non-Transport Agency), and is being submitted as the Firefighter / Basic Life Support Provider of the Year. This 20-year-old young man exemplifies the best in EMS, the Fire Service and in Humanity as a whole. To risk his life inside the vehicle to assist in the care of the 3 victims, all before his 21st Birthday shows that he deserves this award.

 

Respectfully submitted,

George Barrett, 2nd Assistant Chief

Cicero Volunteer Fire Department

Cicero NY 13039

 

 

 

 
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