One of our postings in recent days that has drawn a few comments is the story from Sonoma, California where a 16-year-old Boy Scout Explorer was hospitalized from exhaustion. It appears the boy was involved in interior firefighting operations at house fire. An investigation is underway.
It turns out that in Wisconsin, at the site of the explosion that took the life of Firefighter Steven Koeser, a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old were injured. The younger teen, like the teenager in California, is a Boy Scout Explorer.
Here are the details from postcrescent.com’s Bob Petrie:
Capt. Adam Schuh of the St. Anna Fire Department said there were 17 firefighters on the scene when the explosion occurred at Bremer, W2002 Highway Q in St. Anna, an unincorporated community straddling the Calumet and Sheboygan county lines.
“We had the guys scattered around all over, they were manning hose lines, doing whatever they could and the explosion occurred … and we went into a triage mode,” Schuh said. “It was find our guys that were down and help them first. At that point, the fire didn’t matter any more. It was rescue and save our own.”
Six of the eight firefighters injured in the blast are in good condition, “a few of them stiff and sore yet,” Schuh said. Two firefighters that were hospitalized overnight were out of the hospital and able to attend Saturday’s funeral.
“Stiff and sore, and they were both there today and walking around and talking,” Schuh said. “It’s going to take some time for them.”
Among those injured were 17-year-old Chase Fritsch and 15-year-old Joshua Scott. Fritsch, who is Schuh’s stepson, is of legal age to serve as a firefighter, with parental permission. Scott is a fire department explorer, a training program for teens aspiring to become firefighters. Scott was never in the actual danger zone on Tuesday night, Schuh said.
Schuh said he didn’t know whether the department’s explorer program would be re-evaluated following the blast.
“I don’t want to scrap it because it’s a good way to recruit new members,” he said.
Schuh said St. Anna department members are still in a bit of shock about what happened at Bremer, and added that, “personally, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with.”