“Before I could figure out what was going on I heard the Lt. yelling firefighter down send me an ALS unit” !!!
I reached to tighten the coupling and as I touched the wrench to it was struck by a massive hammer blow and a stream of water, and found myself laying in the middle of the highway with water flowing on me. Not knowing what had happened I thought the nozzle had gotten away from the LT and somehow had come back and struck me without anyone seeing it. I screamed thinking I needed to get their attention so someone would see I was there and grab the nozzle which I assumed was whipping around and I was terrified as going to hit me again. It took me several moments to realize how badly I was hurting. I wasnt able to get a breath for the pain in my chest, my right upper arm was throbbing from the impact and my left elbow felt crushed from landing on it. I was afraid to move and make the pain worse or aggravate anything but I couldnt tell how bad I was hurt and needed to take stock. Before I had the chance Lt. and the driver were both over me and by the looks of panic on their faces I figured yep this is it Im done. The panicked are u ok’s and where do you hurt received from me a I dont know and I cant get my breath my chest hurts respectively.
Before I could figure out what was going on I heard the Lt. yelling firefighter down send me an ALS unit. which of course caused another round of yelling by dispatchers and supervisors and three ALS units wanting to know where we were and if they were close. All this time I still couldnt even figure out what happened. I didnt know how bad I was hurt and I couldnt make my mind get past the shock of not knowing what the hell had happened. I tried to tell LT to hold on dont call everybody yet let me lay here a second. He blew it off and looked at me and yelled this time directed at me Calm down. Somewhere in here I was able to begin to process that I wasnt getting wet anymore and start to get up the courage to move a bit. I began to realize:
I still could move I was breathing though it hurt
my arms both hurt like hell but one was holding my chest and the other was holding on to my partners hand so both were there and working.
I finally convinced them to let me up and I moved around a bit and thought I may live yet. I sat up and and for the first time realized how far I was from the truck. I remember saying something to the effect off what the hell happened. This of course caused LT to tell the ALS unit I had chest and head injuries, at which point they put a helicopter on standby. Well when they turned away I just bit the bullet and stood up of course causing a fit but i figured they wont try to make me lay or sit back down if I really am hurt. I walked toward the engine which was between 15 and 20 feet away saying what the hell happened. When I got to the back of the truck I saw that the line was disconnected but the reducer was still attached. Looking closer I saw it was one that had been floating around the interior of the station that was 2 1/2 NST by inch and a half IPT so the coupling screwed on tight enough to feel tight but wasnt at all secure. When I touched it with the wrench, it came off, struck me in the right arm and chest and according to the other two guys knocked me backwards through the air three to four feet off the ground to where I landed 15 feet back. thus explaining why I was hurting so bad.The ALS unit arrived in this time followed shortly by the Batt Chief. I was able to convince the paramedic I did not need to be immobilized. He finally cancelled the helicopter and I was able to conclude that while this hurts like hell I am really OK. I am staying on duty unless it gets too hurting too much worse. I came back and took a shower and am finding more and more bruises and sore spots my ribs are sore, right upper arm, left elbow and shoulder, left hip and back of leg are all beginning to show blue. And over all I kinda feel like I got hit by a truck but I am ok. I took some ibuprophen and plan to be as still as possible for the day. Other than being sure this will give me hellacious nightmares, there doesnt seem to be anything that will be long term.