Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Minneapolis firefighters come across burning car, pull man to safety

Back when I was going to grad school for criminal justice, I read the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment, which determined that police cars on patrol weren't that effective. "Klockars (1983) extends the criticism of random patrols by concluding that 'it makes about as much sense to have police patrol routinely in cars to fight crime as it does to have firemen patrol routinely in fire trucks to fight fire.'"

Now, from today's Star Tribune, we see that once in a while, it works (patrolling fire trucks, that is):
A man nearly died in his parked car in Minneapolis on Monday night when an engine fire filled it with smoke, fire officials said. Firefighters returning to their station after another call happened to pass near the burning car and pulled him to safety.

"If it had been another minute it could have been a lot worse for that guy," said Fire Capt. Pat Swaggert.

The car was nosed up against a building in a parking lot on 10th Street between Portland and Park avenues. Swaggert said he had told one of his crew to put out the fire with a hand-held pump can when firefighter Gary Spohn heard a cough.

"He thought he heard me coughing, he looked and it wasn't me. He said, 'There's somebody in there,' " said Swaggert. Firefighters broke through the car windows and pulled the man out of the smoke. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

On another note, my original goal in getting my Master's in Criminal Justice was to do something like was is currently known as "CSI." I was working toward what TV viewers now consider the coolest job in the world. Now, I'm still an unemployed social studies teacher.


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