Mayday: Va. firefighter recounts terrifying fall during fire

Lt. Mike O’Prandy said his thoughts immediately raced back to his family once he realized he was in trouble


By FireRescue1 Staff

RICHMOND, Va. — After calling a mayday earlier this week, a firefighter who fell through a floor recounts the close call.

Lt. Mike O’ Prandy was battling a fire at a church building Tuesday when he fell through one of the floor’s holes, reported WTVR. Prior to entering the building, the crew was informed it was under construction, but did not notice missing railings and holes until they were inside. 

“We were doing things to be diligent about alerting members to the issues and traps,” Lt. O’Prandy said. “All it takes is a split second.”

After falling through one of the floors, the crew rushed to his aid and quickly sounded a mayday. Lt. O’Prandy said the fall knocked the wind out of him

“I remember throwing my arms out trying to reach for a rafter as I went through … I hit the floor going through a hole and it threw me back, so I knew I was on my way to the bottom,” he said.

Lt. O’Prandy said his thoughts immediately raced back to his family once he realized he was in trouble.

“I thought about my family, you know, this is why we train and stay in shape. Plus, I work with some of the best guys out there. If something happens, they have my back and I have theirs.”

Lt. O’Prandy is still recovering, but he aims to return to work soon. 

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