By Graham Rayman and Thomas Tracy | December 17, 2022
FDNY emergency medical technicians and paramedics pulled double duty as firefighters as they helped rescue three people in a burning building behind their Bronx EMS station, the FDNY said Saturday.
The EMS crew, which included EMT Joel Rosado, the brother of slain EMT Yadira Arroyo, were working inside Station 26, known as the “Tin House” on Boston Road in Morrisania at about 6 a.m. Friday when a fire broke out in a two-story home on Tinton Ave. behind their building, fire officials said.
“They suddenly smelled smoke in the station. Upon investigation they noticed smoke coming in from the back door,” Oren Barzilay, president of FDNY EMS union Local 2507. “That’s when a civilian ran up to one of our paramedics, saying his house was on fire. One of our EMTs knew the residents personally and made it known that there was a baby and mother that live in there.”
As they alerted firefighters to the blaze, the EMS members, which included Rosado, EMTs Vincent Rebolledo, Jazmin Bourdier, Jose Lemus, Brandon Camacho and Christopher Love and Paramedics Jonathan Silvera and Mark Gioffre took out a first floor window and helped rescue a 65-year-old man and four dogs trapped on the ground floor, Barzilay and fire officials said.
The EMTs found a ladder and climbed up to a second floor window, where they heard the baby crying.
“[The EMT] saw the baby’s bed but not the baby,” Barzilay said. “Two EMTs entered the second floor window with another EMT on the ladder outside of the window, but the members were still unable to locate the mother and baby.”
When firefighters arrived, the medics were able to help FDNY Captain Dan O’Shea and his team from Ladder 31 zero in on where the mom and baby were.
Firefighters found the mom unconscious and brought her outside to a waiting ambulance. Captain O’Shea kept searching and found the baby, also unconscious, under some blankets in a smoke-filled room. He handed the baby to another first responder on the ladder that the EMTs set up, FDNY officials said.
The 25-year-old mother and her child were rushed to Lincoln Hospital with critical injuries, but are expected to survive, officials said. Five EMS members also suffered minor injuries.
As they searched for the mom and child on the second floor, the EMS members “inhaled a lot of smoke,” Barzilay said. “Other members helped remove them from the room. One EMT took on a significant amount of smoke and needed more medical assistance.”
“The EMS members did a great job in directing the fire units, letting us know that there were trapped civilians. They really helped today,” FDNY Deputy Chief Brian Shovlin said at the fire scene.
The hero EMTs suffered minor injuries and are expected to recover, Chief Shovlin said.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.