Today marks 7 years since Firefighters Tomasz Kaczowka, 19 and Michael Chiapperini, 43 were shot and killed in an ambush attack in West Webster, New York.
It was a fire call, on Christmas eve, a car fire with an exposure, the sort of “so called routine job” that all of us turn out for regularly. But this time-once again in our history-it was a trap….there was a house and a car burning on arrival and they did what any Firefighter would do-go to work. What was initially un-size-up-able was a waiting psycho killer, who had positioned his cowardly self as a sniper on a berm above the unknowing Firefighters.
Before they could begin to hit the fire, the Firefighters were met by blasts of gunfire. Four were hit by the bullets, and two were murdered. Radio traffic demonstrates amazing heroism by surviving WW FF’s (see below).
The 2 Firefighters killed in the Line of Duty were Michael J. Chiapperini, 43, a local Police Lieutenant, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, a 911 Dispatcher for Monroe County. The two wounded Firefighters, Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter fortunately survived (see below).
WHEN a Firefighter dies in the Line of Duty-the least any of us can do is to learn from what happened-and while this incident was as unpredictable as any-what Mike Chiapperini, and Tomasz Kaczowka did, along with the WWFD Officers and members, thru their sacrifice, is greatly heighten the awareness and education for Firefighters everywhere on the potential-and preparedness training related to “active shooter” incidents. As we approach another year anniversary, we remember the friends and families of the late Mike Chiapperini, Tomasz Kaczowka, their family, friends and the officers and members of the West Webster FD. RIP.
FREE DOWNLOADABLE WEBINAR:
HERE is an “on demand” webinar related to ACTIVE SHOOTER incidents, featuring a West Webster Fire Officer:
Below is the incredible radio traffic from that incident.
LISTEN as the injured Firefighters, Joseph Hofstetter, who is also a career Firefighter with the Rochester FD, and Theodore Scardino, are incredibly in control on the radio, despite their serious wounds, as they provide updates, protecting other FF’s, EMT’s and Police Officers-saving more lives.
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12/24/1949 Brooklyn, New York (FDNY)
12/24/1943 Chicago, IL
12/24/1943 Scranton, PA
12/24/1938 Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York (FDNY)
12/24/1937 New Britain, CT
12/24/1926 Los Angeles, CA
12/24/1912 Houston, TX
12/24/1909 Lewiston, Maine (2 Firefighters)