Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tornados, Engine House 23


I thought I would send along the newspapers from the Palm Sunday tornado story. I was on the fire department at the time and was off duty. It passed right over us not far from Devilbiss and then touched down to the East. Another friend of mine from the fire department grabbed an ambulance from my father in law at Garner Dolbee mortuary and headed to Point Place. We made three trips to the hospital. The last one was a little boy about 7 or 8 years old. He had blown a few blocks away from his home and hit the side of another house and then was covered up by debris. Someone heard him crying and we arrived back just in time to see them digging him out from under the stuff. His right leg was severed and just hanging on by a little skin.

When we got to the hospital they told us to take him straight to surgery. All we had was a stretcher and we hand carried him in on that only to find that all the surgery tables were occupied with victims. One of the surgeons looked at our boy and asked us if we could just hold the stretcher while he worked on him. We did and he picked up some scissors and cut the skin on the boys leg and set it on a table near by. My friend Wimpy and I just looked at each other trying to maintain our composure. The little guy lived, but I lost track of him a few months later.

I attached a picture I snapped of the blue streak addition of the paper that tells the story of the tornado, (I can't believe I still had it in a box of stuff right here in Montserrat), and also a drawing of the path it took across Toledo to Point Place. It was a day I will always remember. If it would have touched down sooner, it would have been MUCH worse.

The other pics are of our engine company at #23's engine house in the Colony where the practice tower was. It's a small world story as the guy at about 8 o'clock in the picture that Marty Kupsky sent was me. I actually have all the pics of that day that the Blade reporter came out to do the story. I dug out an old scrapbook and snapped some pictures of us one day when we were practicing there. You can see the fire station in some of the shots and part of the Colony in the distance. I worked at 25 Engine house for the last years I was on the department. By the way, the picture of me on the ground is supposed to be funny. 

-- David Lea []

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