Firefighters and Ambulance New Brunswick (ANB) personnel worked together to revive a man who was unresponsive after an apartment fire in the Saint John’s uptown area on Monday.
The blaze was reported shortly before 5 a.m., at approximately 250 Waterloo St.
Saint John Fire Department Platoon Chief Steve Vautour says the fire was contained to the kitchen area of the apartment and was already out when crews arrived.
“It’s one of those better be lucky than sorry type things,” said Vautour.
“There was actually a vent in the kitchen and there was a piece of pex pipe, which is a plastic plumbing pipe, that had burnt through from the fire and that actually extinguished the fire.”
Three other people were in the building and were evacuated safely.
They were taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation
The condition of the man who was resuscitated was not immediately known.
“All that we know is that when the individual was transported to the hospital, we had a pulse, he was breathing under assistance,” Vautour said.
First responders often don’t know exactly what they’re getting into when responding to many of the 911 calls they encounter.
“Very different, very demanding,” said Peter Turnbull, Saint John District operations manager for Ambulance New Brunswick. “They’re always there to provide the best care at all times. ”
Turnbull says ANB takes the mental health of its paramedics very seriously.
“To be healthy mentally as well as physically is so important for our paramedics,” he explained. “They rely a lot on their training to comfort them or to give them some guidance when they’re in those difficult situations.”
The Canadian Red Cross also responded to the Waterloo Street blaze providing accommodations and comfort kits to those who need them.
The kits include things like shampoo, toothbrushes, soap and other things people may not think of when fleeing a fire.
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Officials say the Red Cross is also focusing more on the mental-health side when it comes to providing assistance.
Psycho-social training is being made available to volunteers.
“We like to have our volunteers there for people to just help them out to get food in their belly and a roof over their head,” said New Brunswick Emergency Management co-ordinator Allie Murchison.
“Maybe just someone nice to talk to for the meantime while you’re going through one of the hardest days of your life.”
Fire officials say while the exact cause of the Saint John blaze has not been released, it is not considered suspicious in nature. The apartment suffered minor fire damage with some smoke damage to the entire building.