Perhaps no one understands the dangers of his or her job better than a firefighter. When an emergency call comes in, California rescue personnel are prepared to sacrifice their own safety to help others. As a result, injuries are part of the job, and serious injuries may result in temporary disability. One firefighter recently learned this after a particularly treacherous apartment fire.
The out of state fire erupted in an older apartment complex that was not equipped with sprinklers. A passerby noticed the flames and called 911 before entering the building to alert residents. On the second floor, he encountered a unit that was impossible to enter because of the wall of heat and flame. When firefighters arrived, they learned that the residents of that apartment were still inside.
Officials call the firefighter a hero because he went into the building and attempted the rescue. His suit, meant to withstand 300 degrees, was subjected to the 1,000 degree flames. As he crawled into the room and attempted to pull the victim from the unit, the fire overcame him.
From his hospital bed, the firefighter regretted that he was unable to save the two people in the apartment but rejoiced that many more escaped unharmed. His own injuries included severe burns to his shoulder and arm. After only a year on the job, the firefighter already has a long recovery ahead of him.
Like any worker in California or elsewhere, the man and his family depend on temporary disability payments to support them during his long, painful recovery. Additionally, to meet the undoubtedly high cost of his intense treatment and recovery, medical benefits will be essential. So that he can focus on his healing, it is likely that he has contacted a workers' compensation attorney to protect his rights and make sure he gets his benefits quickly.
Source: kxly.com, "Spokane firefighter injured in deadly apartment fire recovering at Harborview", Grace Ditzler, Sept. 8, 2016