Ore. firefighters healing from emotional trauma after shooting
Springfield Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Caven said the five firefighters who were ambushed by a gunman at a fire scene are on leave
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Firefighters who were ambushed by a shooter at the scene of a house fire are on leave while they cope with the emotional trauma of the incident.
KEZI reported that the five Eugene Springfield Fire Department firefighters are being helped by a Peer Support Team after they were all struck by a gunman as they arrived on the scene, and Battalion Chief Mike Caven praised them for their heroic efforts.
"These guys did it right," Caven said. "The captain provided an excellent description of the shooter and his location while under fire – while trying to account for his crews. It was spot on."
There is no closer call than someone trying to murder 5 of our Brothers. We are thankful for the quick response from our blue line family @EugenePolice, @SPDOregon and @LaneSheriffOR We are aware of the dangers with our job, but we aren’t trained in how to be shot at. #iaff851 pic.twitter.com/QYnqagZxr5— Eugene Springfield Firefighters local 851 (@IAFF851) October 18, 2018
The firefighters only suffered bruises thanks to their protective gear, and Caven added that city officials have stepped up to make sure they get all of the help they need.
"There is no pressure on them to put them back in a position that they are not ready for, and so they are being allowed to decompress and be with their families and process on how to get back and not think about what happened," Caven said.
Los Angeles County Captain Scott Ross, who is leading the Peer Support Team, said they have been helping the firefighters process what happened.
"They're doing OK," Ross said. "They have a strong family around them, not only their own internal support, but they also have the fire family that is going to rally around them, and I hope that as things move forward, they continue to be supported as I know that they will."
Caven said the firefighters are allowed to take as much leave time as they need.
"They were the first ones going back to the scene, picking up their hoses and putting out that fire," Caven said. "I think that was an important first step to their healing.”