“Hanging out the windows.”

“Attention Engine 2, Engine 12, Engine 7, Ladder 7, Ladder 4 and Battallion 3, a box alarm.”

We were returning to quarters from a transport to Roger Williams Hospital and just so happenned to be right in front of 460 Charles St.

“Rescue 3 to Fire alarm, on scene at 460 Charles Street, smoke condition on the 12th floor and above, I’ve got people hanging out of windows.”

Engine 2, Ladder 7 and Battalion 3 arrived on scene and I was no longer Incident Command.

“Battallion 3 to Fire Alarm, 2nd alarm.”

“Roger Battallion 3, at 0430.”

As soon as there was an opening I keyed the mic;

“EMS sector to Fire Alarm, advise Command additional rescues needed, staging area at 390 Charles St.”

“Command received, have all available rescues stage at 390 Charles Street.”

Ten were sent. People streamed out of the front doors of the hi-rise, I set up a triage area and delegated patients to incoming units.

Like clockwork Engine 2’s crew, minus the pump operator commandeered the elevators and exited at floor 11 with their hi-rise packs then entered the stairwell and climbed to the 12th. Engine 12 supplied water from the hydrant to Engine 2, calculations were made and the standpipe was charged. Ladder 7 forced doors and ventilated, Engine 7 assisted with victims and nobody jumped. The fire was contained to one room, two people were transported to area hospitals for smoke inhalation and the fire was under control by 0500.

Another day at the office.

I didn’t know it then, but those would be some of the most intense moments of my life.

Training made it all possible. Without that, those would have been the worst moments of my life.

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