The First Fatal that Bothered me

ffjwhite

Member
May 21, 2010
1,082
Bombay, NY
Well, last night we had a Fatal MVA, ATV vs Pickup truck. I remember getting tones out for this and the only info that we had was unknown injuries. I get one scene and I didn't see an ATV, just the pickup truck in a ditch. I remember looking around for the ATV and it was underneath the pick trucks front tire. So I then immediately see a leg under the pick up trucks tire and the 4 wheelers. I then started to get underneath the truck to see how the PT was doing, and come to find out its just a little kid. This is when the first time ever I had no idea what to do. The situation just took me by surprise. I then began looking for vitals, and unfortunately there was none. I actually had to make the call that this was a DOA. I knew that by the time the Rescue and FD got there that there would have been no use trying to get him out and resuscitate. I have been in the fire service for 6 years and have been to numerous fatality's, and this is by far the most difficult one I have had to endure. I know I probably shouldn't be doing this but I just keep thinking, what else I could have done to save this kid. I just wish there was some kind of way I could have. I really hate these kinds of scenarios where you cant doing anything but make the hardest decision of them all. I think this will be the worst thing I will ever have to do. I think what makes this even worse was that I was the first one on scene and the only chief around at the time. IDK, I just had to vent a little bit about this. I think its helping just to talk about it. It just sucks cause all I can do right now is just think about it, and I know its killing me inside. I don't know what to do, I know that if I keep thinking about it, its going to affect me and I really don't want it to.


http://pressrepublican.com/0100_news/x433573527/One-killed-in-Bombay-ATV-accident
 

ohi007

Member
May 21, 2010
386
Canton, oh
its always hard when there is a kid involved. i dont care how many times you see it, kids always bother me as well. try not to dwell on it ( i know thats hard) because you will never get past it. talk about it as much as you can, always seems to help. if your dept has counselling services, that may also be a way to help deal with it.


prayers going out for you and the family of the pt.


take care and stay safe.
 

Boss429

Member
May 21, 2010
261
Pennsylvania
We had an MVA back in October. Dispatched as MVA w/ Entrapment. 90% of the time we have a chief on scene or in route. Well in this case we had 2 chief's in route extended ETA's. I was the officer on the engine, our 30 year member and chief engineer was our driver. we rolled up to the scene and no chief's.


Everything went well the girl survived (16 years old), and it is a lesson to me that I might never want to be a fire officer. With my 5 years in the service I like where I'm standing right now. It helped me by talking to a current member and past chief at another company. He told me not to beat myself up I did the best I could with the crew I had. He said "you'll always second guess yourself". Everything turned out well, and it did help to vent about it. I typed 2 pages the day after it happened for my college english course...So I think everyone of us has one of these incidents.
 

Mike L.

Member
May 21, 2010
261
Everett, WA
That sucks, I really feel for you having to go through that. Ive been to several fatals but the only one that bothered me was the one i witnessed.


I'm curious why a kid was riding an ATV in an area where he could hit a truck anyways? Is this normal practice for the area or is it parental oversight?
 

ems60

Member
May 22, 2010
307
USA / MA/ Cape Cod
The younger the pt's age the higher the rescuer's stress level, it happens to everyone. Do you have a critical incident stress team in your area, if it's bothering you it has to be bothering other members of the response agencies involved, You need to talk with someone that can help get you through this.
 

ffjwhite

Member
May 21, 2010
1,082
Bombay, NY
Thanks everyone to the comments. We do have CIST and they will be down at our station tonight to do a debriefing. I also had them come out last night to talk to the family as the father was across the road when it happened. I am not sure if he seen it, but he was there. He is the one that took it the hardest. In our area ATV's on the road is a common practice. Not a legal one but it does happen. Now as for the age it is uncommon for someone of his age to be in the road. Most of the time the parents are pretty good keeping them on the property. I am still wondering why he was in the road, when he had a farm to ride on. There was plenty of land. Lucky I have been talking to other members in my department and I have been getting a lot of support.
 

Newberry13

Member
May 21, 2010
613
SC, USA
It's always going to be hard. I had one several years ago that still stays fresh in my mind. A nine y/o on a 500cc dirt bike got hit by a car that ran a stop sign. When we got to scene, and the only person there (besides the kid) was the driver that hit the kid. The parents didn't show up until they seen all the red lights going down the street. He was DOA. That was the first time that my wife ever seen me cry when she asked how my day went. My partner and I went to the ER (our base) and we had the nurses crying, though it was good to be able to talk about it. I always prided myself on my ability to be compassionate while not letting my emotions get involved. In the end, it reminds you that you are still human; not some mindless robot like we usually need to be. Just talk it out, it helps.
 

pondfly

Member
May 21, 2010
307
IL
Kids are usually the worst cases. I had a 5 y/o child run for a ball and was run over by the dually's of the garbage truck and displaced the organs outside the body. Lucky for me I don't have kids and over the years have hardened myself and it doesn't affect me nearly as much as others, so I usually took the peds cases.


That being said, I'm not immune to the stuff. I can be just as infuriated with abuse, neglect or stupid fatalities.
 

CenTexPSE

Member
May 21, 2010
789
Covington, TX
I know how you feel. I have been in the service for 10 years now, and the only fatal that bothers me involved a 4 y/o.


We got a call to a local convienance store. Female in labor. I was responding from about 10 min out, our rescue responded. The ambulance arived about 2 min before i did. Just before i arived on scene, we received a second call, auto vs pedestrian. I went ahead and took that call, and bypassed the convienance store.


When i arived, the child was in the house. Turns out, the dad was leaving to go to work. The child was going out to tell dad bye. Dad was un-aware the child made it outside, and backed over him in their own driveway.


This was over 2 years ago, and i remember it like it was yesterday. Still hard to think about to this day.
 

CenTexPSE

Member
May 21, 2010
789
Covington, TX
CenTexPSE said:
I know how you feel. I have been in the service for 10 years now, and the only fatal that bothers me involved a 4 y/o.

We got a call to a local convienance store. Female in labor. I was responding from about 10 min out, our rescue responded. The ambulance arived about 2 min before i did. Just before i arived on scene, we received a second call, auto vs pedestrian. I went ahead and took that call, and bypassed the convienance store.


When i arived, the child was in the house. Turns out, the dad was leaving to go to work. The child was going out to tell dad bye. Dad was un-aware the child made it outside, and backed over him in their own driveway.


This was over 2 years ago, and i remember it like it was yesterday. Still hard to think about to this day.

BTW, our crew delivered the baby in the back of the ambulance, healthy baby and healthy momma. Time of delivery and time of death on my call was within 2 mins. of each other
 
D

Donslockkey

several years ago we had a 4 to 6 year old child fall off 100' cliff and die. those that are still on the search and rescue team are still bothered by it because they go to that same site about once a month to rescue people who have fallen off or got hung up in thier gear. Don Myhre
 

TangoDown

Member
May 22, 2010
96
Montana
Kids always have been, and always will be, the hardest calls you will have to take. My hat is off to you for performing your duties. Remember that when all else fails, you will fall back on your training. You did all you could and that is all we ask for. RIP to the deceased.
 

TNFF412N

Member
May 22, 2010
387
San Antonio, Texas
sorry about the call. you could have done nothing, some die, some live, we worked a code of a 4 year old who was found at the bottom of a pool. i think about that boy about every day, along with the first code i ever worked... best thing to do is to talk about it.
 

ohi007

Member
May 21, 2010
386
Canton, oh
CenTexPSE said:
I know how you feel. I have been in the service for 10 years now, and the only fatal that bothers me involved a 4 y/o.

We got a call to a local convienance store. Female in labor. I was responding from about 10 min out, our rescue responded. The ambulance arived about 2 min before i did. Just before i arived on scene, we received a second call, auto vs pedestrian. I went ahead and took that call, and bypassed the convienance store.


When i arived, the child was in the house. Turns out, the dad was leaving to go to work. The child was going out to tell dad bye. Dad was un-aware the child made it outside, and backed over him in their own driveway.


This was over 2 years ago, and i remember it like it was yesterday. Still hard to think about to this day.

DAMN. i have that fear that my 2yr will do the same thing one of these days. i try to make sure that when i am leaving i tell "mom" to keep an eye on him, and she does the same for me when she has to go out. that scares the hell out of me.
 

rwo978

Member
May 21, 2010
5,196
ND, USA
I had 2 SIDs within 9 mos of each other about 5 years ago. First one, my wife was pregnant with our first. Second one, first was about 3-4 mos old. I was "blowing up the phone" the second time just to have her go check on him... which he was fine and she wondered why I was asking. I told her I'd tell her later.


I talked with the other guys on the call. It helped a little. The first one, the chaplin was at the PD about an hour after. I talked with him a little, broke down... it helped.


Talk about it...
 

ffjwhite

Member
May 21, 2010
1,082
Bombay, NY
Yea, I did, we had a CISM meeting and it did help, Lucky the Corner was there and answered some of my questions with made me feel alot better. Thanks for the support. Now I just gotta stop thinking about it.
 

PJD642

New Member
May 20, 2010
1,543
east of Cleveland
I probably saw 20 dead folks while working for the Housing Authority in Cleveland during my 15 years there - natural causes, shootings, whatever. The first one was weird just because I'd never seen a dead body up close before, but after that not so bad. Then I "escaped" from that job and got to be a Park Ranger. Went on a drowning call with the local FD in one of our Parks in 2008, we all ended up swimming around in an estuary trying to find him for 25 minutes until one of the firemen felt the kid's body hit his foot. They worked on him on the beach, in the squad, and at the hospital. Never got so much as a twitch. Plus which dad came stumbling up drunk and almost got run over by the squad so I got to deal with his ass too. Two years later and that's the incident that still makes me cry.


Talk to your CISD people, talk to the other guys that were there, talk to your wife/husband, just TALK. Trying to bury it just hides it, and does nothing to lessen the pain. Get it out in the open where you can express how it made you feel helpless. That's the only way to do it, keeping it bottled up inside will just cause the pain to ambush you when you aren't ready for it.
 

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