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Austin Firefighters Train To Expect The Unexpected
Two firefighters are dead and two others injured, after a gunman ambushed them at an early morning house fire in upstate New York.
Authorities say it appears the gunman lured crews to the home and when firefighters arrived, he opened fire.
Fire crews in Austin are no strangers to potential danger, but do take preventative measure to help ensure their safety.
"If that happens here our guys know that they have to take care of themselves first,” said Austin Fire Battalion Chief Palmer Buck. “They know to get back and call for assistance, but you can't plan for everything.”
Just this past year, crews entering a Central Texas home on a medical call were shot at. Luckily police were also on the scene and no one was hurt.
"The guys know that they always have to keep their head on a swivel, and not to take anything for granted,” said Buck. “You go in there and you take care of yourself and your partners and make sure that you keep your eyes open because any time a situation can turn deadly"
While no action plans are in place, preparation for the unknown starts with the original call from dispatch.
Firefighters are looking for clues as crews head to the scene. “Make sure that everything that you are seeing from what the dispatchers telling you is matching up,” said Buck.
In cases where crews know there is a potential for violence, firefighters will stage and wait for police to clear the area to make sure everyone gets in and out safe.
They say while what happened in New York is rare, situations where there is an armed person who has the potential to inflict danger happens frequently across the country.
The best thing is to be prepared and always be on the lookout for the threat of violence, or just an emergency type situation that can be different from the original call for a fire.
Firefighters say the public can help as well.
No detail is too small when reporting a fire or emergency. The more information they have heading to the scene the more prepared they’ll be to deal with the situation.
By Adam Racusin