July 3, 2013 started out as a usual day as the sun rose over the city of Toledo, and Toledo Fire & Rescue. As one 24-hour tour ended for “B” platoon, and “C” platoon began their 24-hour tour, things would change quickly.
Shortly before going off duty, “B” platoon made a “good stop” on a fire in north Toledo on Galena street. A short time later, Toledo Fire & Rescue Dive Team was assisting Toledo Police with the search for a missing toddler. The Toledo Fire & Rescue Dive Team began search operations in the Maumee River under the High Level Bridge (Anthony Wayne Bridge) with a diver in the water at 0837 hrs. These divers, aided by our Sector Scanning Sonar, searched approximately 3,000 square feet with 3 hours 10 minutes of bottom time. This is being done in treacherous conditions: black water-zero visibility, compounded by underwater obstructions too numerous to count. Dive operations were terminated at 1430 hrs.
While the dive operations were winding down, at 1226 Engine 16 and Squad 7 were dispatched to Bancroft & Detroit on an injury accident. Upon arrival things changed dramatically. Engine 16 found a large sink hole with a vehicle at the bottom with the driver still inside her auto. The brim of the hole was very unstable and continued to shift and fall throughout the rescue of the woman by Engine 16 and Squad 7. Their quick thinking put together a quick rescue using a ground ladder with one firefighter going down to assist the woman out of the hole. While the Toledo Fire & Rescue Confined Space/Trench Rescue Unit was dispatched and on their way, this quick rescue made their deployment unnecessary.
As if this wasn’t a full day already, at 1849 hrs. (6:50 p.m.), a structure fire was reported at 3220 LaGrange. This call also came with the added information of a person trapped on the second floor of the residence. When the officer from Engine17 arrived with his crew, they were met with a very challenging scene: extreme smoke conditions obscuring visibility, and heavy fire conditions on the first floor. Truck 17 was order to perform “Vent, Enter, Search” (V.E.S.), going above the fire without the protection of a hand line to search for trapped victims. The heavy fire exiting from some of the windows dictated the direction of entry for the crews. While Engine 17 attacked the fire on the first floor, the crew from Engine 7 worked their way to the second floor to begin a search for the trapped victim. The victim was brought outside, unconscious and placed into the care of Toledo Fire & Rescue paramedics on Life Squad 1, and transported to St. Vincent’s Hospital.
This 24-hour tour ended with approximately 173 total incidents, 23 of these incidents were fire related, with 150 being related to medical calls (E.M.S.) of all types.