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Updated on August 29, 2011

episode 3

Captain Roger Chamberlain Shouts "Stop, drop and roll!" And Immediately nine firefighters...and ten neighborhood kids of all ages stop what they are doing, drop to the ground, and roll back and forth as though to put out the fire. The Captain shouts out enough, then tells all they have done good, please get ready for the next item. Everyone moves towards an area that looks like a mix between a maze and an obstacle course. Every one ties black linen loosely and thinly over their eyes, to represent seeing through smoke. When all are ready, the Captain shouts out "Fire in the House". Almost everyone stays in a group and works together to find the way out of the maze, but one of the older boys strikes out on his own, and is still lost in the maze by the time everyone else is out. The Captain stops them from taking off their veils. He tells them they have lost one of their men. As a group, they work their way back in and search for him. They finally find him and then again work their way back out. Once out, the Captain asks them what went wrong. At first the group takes all the blame, saying they were not careful enough to keep track of all its members. But then the boy can't take the guilt and finally speaks up and admits he wanted to prove he could do the maze by himself and went off on his own on purpose, but now he knows it takes team work. He understands now that if it had been a real fire he probably would have died.

They are about to work on some exercises when the alarm goes off. The Captain assures the boys they will continue later, and the crew head for the trucks and gear. When they get to the scene, it is an accident, a big one involving five vehicles. The police were on scene already, beginning the process of directing traffic, but that was like picking water up in your hands at this point as so far there were only two officers on scene. Samson and Daniel took orange cones and began placing them to help the officers direct the traffic. As David and the twins began to assess who would be priority in getting medical attention, they heard a screech of tires, and spun to see a car trying to stop in time but failing to do so and hitting Samson. David and the twins rushed over to him, while both officers ran to apprehend the driver of the car that hit him. Ben ran back to the rescue unit and grabbed the Medikit and backboard and ran back to Samson's side. They slipped the Backboard under him and strapped him to it, and checked his pulse and heart rate. He was unconscious and his body was going into shock. The woman that hit him had been texting and had not seen him until to late, had not even realized that there was an accident scene. As soon as the first ambulance arrived they put Samson on board and sent him to the hospital.

They began work on the victims of the accident. Of the five vehicles involved in the accident, only two had occupants stuck inside and injured bad enough to require their help. Both require the jaws of life to get out of the vehicles. Both are men, one in his fifties, and one in his twenties. The one in his twenties is unconscious while the fifty year old man is awake but approaching respiratory failure and possible heart failure fast. They choose to work on the fifty year old first. Once again David climbs into the car and begins talking to the man. He puts a neck brace on him and an oxygen mask. He asks the man his name but the man, even though he is awake, is not coherent enough to give his name. David reaches down and feels for the mans wallet, once he finds this he looks for his ID. Now he knows the mans name is Alex Knudsen, fifty-four years old. There is a picture in his wallet of him and a woman and a younger couple with three very young children. They all looked very happy. It made David think of his own parents and grandparents, and he really hoped this man made it.

He called out the mans name. "Alex, Alex, can you hear me?" At first he didn't get any response. But then he heard a moan. It gave him hope. "Alex, don't give up man, you have to fight, your family still needs you. Fight for them. Do you hear me? Alex, do you understand me?" Slowly he gets a nod, then he notices Alex's eyes looking into his. "That's right Alex, stay here with me, I will be right here with you, you aren't alone. We're gonna get through this, ok?" Another slow nod. Finally the Jaws of life have gotten through and the door is off, and the crew are able to get Alex out of the car and into the ambulance. While David was working with Alex, the twins had been working on the twenty year old man, preparing him and getting his vitals. As soon as Brian and Andy had finished getting the door off of Alex's car they moved to the other car and began on it. Once that door was off they got that man out and put him into an ambulance and sent him to the hospital. Once their work at the scene was finished, the men returned to the firehouse, got the trucks and gear ready for another call, then waited for the Captain, as he was calling the hospital to learn the condition of Samson and to see when he would be accepting visitors. Finally, the Captain came out of his office, and the men knew immediately, without a word being spoken, that Samson had not made it. Most of them took it silently, mostly in shock, but Matthew, who had been his closest friend, and who also had a bit of a temper, spun around and planted his fist into a cabinet, then just stood there for a moment. Then ripping his fist out of the cabinet he walked out of the firehouse without a word. The rest of the crew could only watch him go, feeling his pain, his loss, as their own, but unable to ease it.

They had the funeral for Samson and he was honored as every Firefighter should be, even though he did not die in a fire. He did die performing his duty. He died because of a reckless driver. As is custom, Firefighters from all over the city and even some from instate and out of state came to honor a fallen brother.
David asked the Captain what happened to the woman who killed Samson. He told David and the others who were listening for his answer that she was going to prison for vehicular manslaughter. It didn't bring Samson back, but it made them feel a tiny bit better that some justice was being done.

i wrote this episode after interviewing a firefighter in Downey, Ca. I asked him what was the thing he would like to get across to people...he said the use of safety in the home and the use of caution around emergency vehicles.

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