Dallas Fire Fighter Association President Says Training Likely Saved Lives – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
While the apartment building explosion in the Highland Hills Apartments remains under investigation, three firefighters are just beginning their path to recovery.
Those who know the dangers of the job firsthand say there is no doubt that it was training and quick thinking that saved lives, including theirs.
Jim McDade said he had the same feeling of sinking when he heard the distress call on the radio.
âThere is a moment of panic among all of us,â McDade said. “It’s scary, absolutely scary to hear this audio of this panic, and to know full well that the person making this call is seriously injured.”
As a sixteen-year veteran and president of the Dallas Fire Fighters Association, he understands that a firefighter only makes a distress call under certain circumstances.
âMayday is what we would say on the radio if we got lost, or trapped, or out of tune or in a very bad situation. We need someone to come and get us, that’s what it means, âhe said.
He also knew that the firefighters at Station 25 – those in the Highland Hills apartments during Wednesday’s blast – had extensive training and experience that continued even after academy.
“This station is a very busy station,” he said. âSo on top of all the training, they’re actually using all of their training, because they’re there to do it. “
McDade says all firefighters receive training called self-rescue. If possible, a firefighter will do all he can to get out of a dangerous situation while others are on the way.
âThat’s it, learning how to punch a wall, or go out a window or whatever is needed,â McDade said. “But you call him and try to get out of it while people come looking for you at the same time.”
Ultimately, he says the Dallas firefighting family considers themselves lucky.
âIt’s going to be a long way. These guys have a long way to go to heal and get back to where they can work again, âhe said. “It’s an absolute miracle that we haven’t lost anyone.”
A resident of the resort told NBC 5 on Thursday that he reported a gas odor to maintenance on Tuesday and that some of his neighbors had complained about the smell at the resort for several days.
Four civilians were injured in the explosion. They were taken to hospital for treatment and released on Wednesday evening. Three of the four injured firefighters are still at Parkland Hospital.