SPOKANE-- The first firefighters to arrive to the scene were crews with Fire District Nine out of North Spokane County, and it was a career changing experience for one of the department's newest members.
Tuesday started as any regular day for two engine companies with Fire District Nine. Firefighters were clearing one scene when they got the call of a gunshot wound. But crews didn't know the two victims were deputies.
It's a day Patrick Thoen will never forget. After all, it was his first shift as a firefighter. “There were lots of people running in every direction, people screaming, sirens going.”
Tuesday afternoon Thoen's Engine Company was hurriedly dispatched to a crime scene.”We heard there was a gunshot wound we had to respond to.”
On the way to the call, amidst the chaos and adrenaline, firefighters learned more about the victims. “Once we found out it was two deputies it got kind of quiet.”
On scene, there was no time to panic; Thoen went to work, putting pressure on the deputies’ wounds. “I knew I had some really good crew working with me and they would walk me through what to do.”
Fire District 9 Department Chief, Mike VanHeel, said “I was quite pleased and amazed at how quickly they were able to treat the patients and get them in the ambulance and down the road.”