Recent example of first responders doing whatever it takes to save the lives—see May 25, 2011 KTVU news article below. The Oakland POLICE Department did not stand there on the sidewalk waiting for the Oakland FIRE Department to arrive. Had they waited, people would have died. The POLICE officers RAN INTO into a BURNING BUILDING and rescued people. No protective clothing. No fire gear. No training. And no stinkin’ protocols. They got creative and did what needed doing. AND they did not get in trouble for this. Huh. What a concept. Risk your life to save a life….wait, where have I heard that? Oh right, a video the IAFF Local 689 posted on their facebook page in February; their last post before their recent apologetic press release. The irony.
Posted: 9:04 am PDT May 25, 2011Updated: 10:37 am PDT May 25, 2011
OAKLAND, Calif. — A pile of charred debris, a melted TV remote – those were the remains of a burned out Oakland apartment early Wednesday but they did not tell the whole story.
The quick actions of two Oakland police officers were being credited with preventing the single alarm blaze from becoming a deadly tragedy…. Reginald Florence told KTVU he was taking a shower when he heard a loud boom.
“I heard a boom noise so I jumped out,” said Florence, who spoke as he rummaged through a pile of debris in yard of his mom’s apartment house at 2115 38th Ave. “My room was smoky… The police came in and saved me. I thank the officer for saving my life. Your life is more important than these material things.”
Oakland police officer Erich Cumby said he and his partner were in the neighborhood responding to another call when they smelled smoke.
“We began to smell smoke and see a lot of smoke,” he said. “We ran down the street (to the four-plex apartment house)…When we got on the side we saw a lot of smoke coming out of the upper unit…We were able to open the front door and yell inside. The apartment was totally engulfed in smoke and the flames were getting bigger and bigger.”
Amid the growing inferno, the officers heard Florence call out.
“We attempted to go in but the smoke was so overwhelming,” he said. “We could only go a couple feet in… Moments later a gentleman popped out of front door… We took the curtain and wrapped him up in it.”
The officers then turned their attentions to the three other units in the burning building.
“We began to knock on the other three doors and we able to get one of the residents and her small daughter out,” he said.
When Cumby was asked how he felt about Florence calling him a hero.
“I’m just doing my job,” he told KTVU. “That’s what they pay us to do. I love working here in Oakland. I wouldn’t work anywhere else.”
Florence said firefighter told him the cause of the 11:30 p.m. blaze was electrical in nature. There was no estimate in the damage.
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