On April 18, 2018 units were requested to Interstate 85 Southbound, just north of Senoia Road on a motor vehicle accident with a possible entrapment. While en-route, additional information was given that indicated multiple vehicles, with the possibility of multiple people pinned inside of different vehicles. During this time, additional units were dispatched from Union City Fire Department to assist in any extrications. Deputy Chief Pat McCarragher was the first to arrive on scene and establish command, shortly after arrival, Command reported as many as 7 vehicles involved and 4 entrapments confirmed. Battalion 21 arrived on the scene was assigned to the operations sector. It was determined that seven vehicles were involved including one SUV was resting on its roof with the patient lying face down in the interior, one tractor trailer that had a vehicle pinned on top of the guard rail, another down a large embankment one vehicle with extreme intrusion to the front and rear of the vehicle, and others with significant damage.
It was determined by the operations section chief that triage should be established, and multiple transport vehicles would be needed along with an additional engine company. It was confirmed that the incident had four people pinned inside of four separate vehicles, and a total of seven patients would need transport.
After size up and patient assessment it was determined that Fairburn Fire Department as well as Union City Fire Department would be required to work in tandem on this incident for quick and proper rescue. Union city was assigned to one vehicle for stabilization and extrication on one vehicle while Fairburn Fire worked on another vehicle with entrapment, vehicle stabilization was started by two separate departments on three separate vehicles, then as one extrication and stabilization were completed the crews then went to the next assigned vehicle. The vehicle that was resting on top of the guard rail was highly unstable, this guard rail was keeping the vehicle from going down an approximately 30’ embankment where the other vehicle was resting. The crews had to completely stabilize this vehicle and remove the tractor trailer that had it pinned, this required the quick and responsive actions of the two fire departments to work in tandem for the success of this extrication. During this time, patient care was being handled by fire crews as well, as the transport provider had an extended estimated time of arrival due to the request for multiple units.
These men and women from The City of Fairburn and Union City Fire Departments operated as a team of one department to accomplish one goal, and that was the well being of the patients being extricated and treated. In all, four patients were trapped that required heavy extrication tools, one vehicle needed extensive stabilization, and a total of seven patients were transported to the hospital, all of this was accomplished with no fatalities. This multi-vehicle incident required precision team work from multiple agencies as well as with the Ambulance provider, these crews worked side by side for over an hour stabilizing vehicles, treat patients, extricate and hazmat containment from fluids put down by all the vehicles. The following team members have been awarded the 2018 Silent Hero Award for Teamwork.
Deputy Chief Patrick McCarragher, Fairburn Fire Department
Battalion Chief M. Shane Owens, Fairburn Fire Department
Lieutenant Yahrek Johnson, Fairburn Fire Department
Lieutenant Amy Barnes, Fairburn Fire Department
Sergeant Adam Ashcraft, Fairburn Fire Department
Sergeant Sergio Baena, Fairburn Fire Department
Firefighter James Keil, Fairburn Fire Department
Firefighter Victor Terrell, Fairburn Fire Department
Firefighter Dustin Kurucar, Fairburn Fire Department
Firefighter Jason Stam, Fairburn Fire Department
Battalion Chief Andy Dillard, Union City Fire Department
Lieutenant Brian Fisher, Union City Fire Department
Firefighter Chris Stephens, Union City Fire Department
Firefighter Willie Key, Union City Fire Department
Fairburn Fire Department and Union City Fire Department