This episode is PART 1 of a two-part interview with Winnipeg Firefighter Lionel Crowther. Listen in as Firefighter Crowther recounts his close call survivor story about an incident where he sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns and two of his comrades lost their lives while fighting a dwelling fire.
Length: 65 minutes
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Feb. 4, 2007, is the day that changed the lives of Lionel and Joanna Crowther forever. A firefighter with the Winnipeg, Manitoba, Fire Department, Lionel was off duty when he got called in for an overtime shift. Early into the shift his company, Engine 101 was dispatched to a reported residential dwelling fire.
Within minutes of responding to the call, a flashover occurred. Flames engulfed the entire house, trapping several firefighters on the second floor. Lionel managed to escape by jumping out of a second-story window.
When the smoke cleared and the flames were extinguished, two fire captains had been killed and four firefighters, including Lionel, were severely burned.
Some takeaways from the interview include:
- Department members received RIT training but were not trained on how or when to call a mayday, a missing component that would prove critical to the outcome of this incident.
- The importance of being a student of every fire.
- The need to acknowledge our own weaknesses and see where we have opportunities to improve.
- The importance of not judging others, regardless of their opinions.
- The value of learning from LODD reports and near-miss reports.
- How many little mistakes add up and lead to catastrophe.
- How brain function changes under stress and how our apparent “common sense” will be non-existent.
- The impact of tragedy on family members.
- Tragic outcomes can happen to any of us… ANY of us!
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