Wednesday, July 18 2012, 05:23 PM CDT
Criado Tragedy: Reliving the Day
MEDFORD, Ore. -- Firefighters can still see themselves pushing down on a child's chest.
They still remember how a report of smoke became a huge tragedy.
They are remembering scenes from a year ago when they responded to a fire at 1027 W. 10th St., where they worked quickly to get the family of six out and try to save their lives. Only one -- Jordan Criado -- survived.
Firefighters and police are now talking about that day and how they cope.
During the call, everyone was running on adrenaline and focused on the task at hand.
"Those guys are not thinking of the magnitude of the call or anything like that," said Justin Bates, deputy fire chief with Medford Fire Department. "It's not until much later when the adrenaline runs out and they start to see the human side of it."
How they handle it differs.
"Firemen are tough," Bates said. "Just like in the military, when you come back, you're trained to put up those walls to protect yourself."
Medford Deputy Fire Chief Gordon Sletmoe explains that a person gets used to it.
Others see the trauma manifest itself.
"It's OK for you to feel a certain reaction," Medford Police Lt. Scott Clausen said. "you might come in to work a few days later a little grumpy and realize 'I think I know why.'"
Many just can't lose the image of that day. Some have flashbacks when they travel down 10th Street.
As emergency responders try to figure out how to deal with that day, fire and police leaders want to help. Medford Fire Department, Jackson County Sheriff's Office and Dispatch Center have hired a firm to find out what services firefighters, police, dispatchers and other emergency responders need -- especially after traumatic events like July 18, 2011.