Being the bravest comes at a cost

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — At least one firefighter hasn’t gone back to work after being hurt on the job. It happened during a fire at a home near Charles and State streets Sunday.

The firefighter is expected to be okay, but this is a common story for the people keeping us safe, especially during the winter.

Several fires this year have happened when temperatures have been freezing or colder and it’s where some of the injuries can happen. There’s always the chance of frostbite, slipping and falling on ice or hypothermia when it comes to fighting a fire in the cold temperatures.

Investigators are looking for answers after someone lit a fire in a bathroom and it spread to the attic. Neighbors say they saw flames shooting out of the roof.

“Eleven companies responded, but the fire was out within 20-minutes. We did have a couple of minor firefighter injuries.”

One of the firefighters hasn’t come back to work and, although his was minor, injuries are common for firefighters.

“Inevitably, in this profession, we know that injuries are going to happen. Obviously, people realize that this is a dangerous job, a very strenous job, taxing on the body. Most of the injuries are strains and sprains and muscle injuries.”

In Champaign, there were 67 injuries in 2018; most of them inside a home or other building. The numbers show the most common areas affected are backs and spines.

“Because of our work and the sudden nature of the emergency, we don’t have ten minutes to warm up to do the job.”

Which is why many departments have work out facilities to keep them prepared at a moment’s notice. While accidents happen, it’s good to remember there are people putting their lives at risk for your safety and their own.

“We took an oath and swore to protect our community, but to protect each other.”

Most injuries happen in September. The fire chief says that’s because students are coming back to town. The numbers also show the most people were hurt on Tuesdays, but it’s unclear why.

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