Running In As Others Run Out
Modern technology has transformed the county’s fire-rescue service over the years, but it still depends on the selflessness and courage of its men and women.
Photography By Denise Ritchie
Fire Medic Chris Jackson started out as a volunteer firefighter. Volunteering offers an excellent opportunity for those hoping to be hired.
“Fire! Fire! Help! Help!”
The chilling cry shattered a pre-dawn silence, shocking residents awake. They scrambled from beds and rushed outside to face one of their worst nightmares – a roaring fire that was rapidly spreading. The street filled with commotion, shouts, fear. A few people tossed furniture from second-story windows, trying to save at least some possessions while they still had time. Others could only run for their lives. Smoke billowed as flames devoured wood-framed businesses and on-site dwellings.
Not one fire truck raced to the scene. Not one distant alarm signaled help was on the way. The fire burned on and on.
More than a hundred people hastily formed bucket brigades. Hand over hand, drop by drop, they fought the spreading inferno that was destroying their livelihoods along with their homes. In the end, many were left with nothing but the bed clothes they wore, their lives turned to ash.
Read the entire article in the April 2012 issue