I just heard a very sad news report

United States
November 21, 2009 12:05am CST
I was just watching the local news a little while ago, and there was a report about a man that burned to death in a house fire. While this is nothing unusual, the circumstances leading up to his death are a little hard to swallow. Neighbors noticed the house fire, called the fire department, then ran over to see if they could do anything before the fire department got to the scene. They ran into the house and were in the process of dragging the man out of the house. The fire department arrived about this time. The neighbors were dragging the man onto the front porch and were about to drag him out onto the lawn when they firefighters ran up on the porch and told them to get out of the way, forcing them to leave the man on the porch. Then, for some unknown reason, they left the man on the porch! One firefighter did make some sort of effort to get the man off the porch, but abandoned his efforts for some reason. THE MAN BURNED TO DEATH ON HIS FRONT PORCH! Now, I know first-hand from my time is law enforcement that it is hard for someone who was not on the scene and was not participating in the situation to legitimately pass judgment on the ones who are involved because the people who are not on the scene do not always know the full scope of the circumstances. I am never quick to pass judgment on any emergency personnel (or soldiers for that matter) for decisions they make in the line of duty. I try not to pass judgment on them at all, but in this situation, something just doesn't add up... It seems to me that if a couple of neighbors were able to go into the house without benefit of the gear that firefighters wear and drag the man as far as the front porch, a firefighter in full protective gear with an oxygen tank and the other stuff they have to protect them from the heat should have at least been able to pull him the rest of the way onto the lawn out of harm's way. My other issue here is that it had to have been obvious to the firefighters coming up onto the porch that the neighbors exiting the house were dragging a person as they were coming out the door. Why did the firefighters not either allow the neighbors to continue getting the man off the porch, since they seemed to have the situation under control, OR at the very least, why did they not assist the neighbors in getting the man off the porch and onto the lawn or something??? I have to wonder a few things here...Would this man still be alive right now if the firefighters would have allowed the neighbors to just keep dragging him out onto the lawn?? I have to wonder if the firefighters truly did all they could do to save the life of this man?? I can understand why the made the neighbors get out of the way, but did they not notice the neighbors were dragging a person out of the house? How could they NOT have noticed this, and how could they just leave the man lying on the porch of his burning house. I know that there is always risk in moving an injured person, and that permanent damage can be done by improperly doing so, but the first thing you learn in law enforcement, firefighter, and EMT training is to move the person AWAY from eminent danger even if moving them may injure them further. In this case, a burning porch was certainly enough of a threat to justify moving the victim further away from the house. Whether or not they would have injured him further by moving him is irrelevant since leaving where he was lying was more likely to kill him. I can't imagine that the firefighters hesitated to move the man for fear of causing him further injury. This incident is under investigation, and it will certainly be interesting to see what happens here.
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