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Episode 240 | Jason Corthell Interview

In this episode, Cypress Creek Lieutenant Jason Corthell shares his close call survival story where he was operating on the second floor of an exterior stairwell at an apartment building fire. The stairwell, not involved in fire at all, unexpectedly collapsed, trapping Lieutenant Corthell and District Chief Sanchez under tons of steel and concrete. A mayday was called and a rapid intervention crew was able to remove the debris and successfully rescue the two firefighters.


Length: 56 minutes


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A crew of three firefighters, including Cypress Creek Fire Lieutenant Jason Corthell, ascended an exterior stairwell on a fast-moving apartment fire. The fire was inside the apartment and in the attic. The stairs, constructed of steel and concrete, were not involved in fire.

The nozzleman was on the third floor landing preparing to attack the fire. Lieutenant Corthell and District Chief Sanchez were on the second floor landing advancing hose to the nozzleman. Suddenly, without warning or provocation, the stairwell collapsed, trapping the two firefighters who were on the landing. The firefighter that was on the third floor landing rode the debris down to the second floor landing and was uninjured.

Lieutenant Corthell’s radio was dislodged in the collapse and he could not call a mayday. The C-Sector commanding officer, noticing the collapse, called the mayday and deployed resources to successfully rescue the trapped firefighters.

Listen as Jason describes what was going through his mind as he was trapped and could not move. How he felt a sense of calm and came to peace with himself that he was going to die and how he prayed that God would take him quickly.


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Intro music

Safety Dance (1982)
Men Without Hats
GMC – Virgin Records
Licensed by BMI Music

Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System


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