Thursday Morning – Stay Vigilant
That was quite a bizarre situation in Gwinnett County yesterday afternoon. How many hundreds of thousands of similar engine co. assists just like that are run every day? To be honest and practical, there is just no way of knowing that a fate like that is just inside the door when you approach a house like that.
By all appearances, it was just a normal-looking, fairly new subdivision home where upper-middle class families raise their school-age children and shop at the mall on weekends. And nothing seemed untowards to the engine and medic crews as they first entered the house. We have since learned that the interior was "a real mess" with trash and debris laying about. But we come across those scenes more often than the public realizes and doesn't indicate to us any potential danger.
No, we can't anticipate that and we can thank God that this situation was mitigated as well as it was. Prior to the SWAT team's rush, those firefighters were only an insane brain-flash away from a horrible end. Yes, everyone is grateful to how it turned out.
The police still haven't officially announced the gunman's identity, but WSB-TV has posted a summary of the finish and results:
All five Gwinnett County firefighters have been released from the hospital after police shot and killed a gunman that had been holding the firefighters hostage Wednesday afternoon.
During a news conference earlier Wednesday night, Capt. Tommy Rutledge with Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services said everyone was relieved everyone was alright.
"In talking to firefighters and their families, they are relieved, simply relieved, that situation is over, that family members (are) with them," Rutledge said.
A hospital spokesperson couldn't say by law what the extent of the firefighters' injuries were, but did say all five firefighters and a Gwinnett County police officer who was shot, were in good condition.
"Those firefighters again had superficial injuries, not from gunfire, due to shrapnel being detonated," Rutledge said.
Vigilance is our best defense, so never let up on it.
And we don't let up on our preparations back in the station, either. So let's get started with the daily equipment check as the Bunn-O-Matic runs off a couple more pots for us. It'll be ready when we get back in the day room. See you there.
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