Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue crews stay busy during snow storms
Station 67 in central Beaverton responds to double the number of calls in an average shift
At noon on Thursday, Feb. 6, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue's Central Beaverton Station 67 plus 20 other fire stations in the district began chaining up their trucks, engines and medic units with the knowledge that snow was on the way.
That preparation for cold weather operations enabled TVF&R crews to respond to 49 motor vehicle accident calls out of 196 total calls in the district's 210-mile service area within a 24-hour period.
TVF&R's Station 67 averages 7,000 calls for service each year, or about 20 per day. At the end of the Friday morning shift, the crews had responded to double that number, demonstrating the high degree of demand for emergency services as a result of the snow and cold weather. This number included three fire calls, six motor vehicle accidents and 18 medical calls.
Within an hour of chaining up, Station 67 Capt. Kraig Moisan reported that the crews left the station to respond to emergency calls, taking one after another. The first opportunity they had to return to the station was six hours later.
One of those calls involved a six-vehicle accident on Southwest 185th Avenue in Aloha near Cooper Mountain. After attending to the injured, firefighters estimated they helped 70 motorists who ran out of fuel or became stuck in the snow when their vehicle navigation units directed them to travel over Cooper Mountain as an alternate route.
While Truck 67 remained at the scene to assist motorists, Paramedic Lt. Dan Mitchael and his crew from Engine 67 responded to a cardiac arrest. The patient did the right thing by staying at home and calling 9-1-1 when he began experiencing chest pain. In one moment, the patient was talking with a dispatcher; and in the next he suffered sudden cardiac arrest just as firefighter medics were walking through the front door. Using lifesaving technology and medicine that is on every TVF&R apparatus, the crew was able to get the patient's pulse back and transport him to an area hospital.
Station 67 continued serving the public's emergency needs during this snowstorm into the early morning hours. At around 2 a.m., Moisan and his crew responded to a pregnancy call in Beaverton. The mother relayed that she did not think the baby was coming yet.
Moisan and firefighter medic Jesse Fitzpatrick rode with the mother on the way to Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.
The Metro West ambulance had just pulled onto Highway 217 North when, two pushes later, Moisan and Fitzpatrick delivered a healthy baby boy.
As the crew was returning to the station from this call, they encountered two more stranded motorists on Highway 217 South and stopped to push them out.
With a smile on his face after just having brought a new life into the world, Moisan and his crews ended their busy 24-hour shift.
Leaving the station, he said," I just talked to my 2-year-old daughter on the phone. She wants me to make her pancakes when I get home."
TVF&R wanted to share this snapshot of its firefighters' afternoon and evening at one station to remind everyone who may experience a medical emergency to not delay and to call 9-1-1 right away. Its 317 firefighter medics are trained, prepared and carry medications and equipment to begin medical care in the home.
Be sure to check out TVF&Rs winter safety tips at www.tvfr.com.