Knowledge, skills and abilities helped save a life last week

Saturday, July 12, started out like any other ordinary day for the Wilton Fire Department. The shift started and roll call was taken at 7 a.m., followed by equipment and apparatus checks, housekeeping and the like.

Two firefighters came in a bit later for a special detail: to staff Engine Co. 3 for the Wilton Sidewalk Fair. Their job that day was to interact with the public, hand out fire prevention literature and answer questions residents may have regarding how to better protect their families, and perhaps their businesses as well.

At approximately 3:45, as the fair wound down, one of Wilton’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members working at the fair gravely injured himself. As he quickly realized the extent of his injuries, he ran towards Engine 3 for help and upon arrival began to lose consciousness.

The two fire department members working (Lt. Gregg Kitik and Firefighter Mike Blatchley) immediately saw he had, in fact, nicked an artery on his arm and took quick action to stop the bleeding.

Lt. Kitik called for an EMS response while Firefighter Blatchley pinched off the artery and applied pressure to the wound. The ambulance on duty at the fair responded quickly while the paramedics rolled to the scene.

Fearing a worsening condition, Firefighter Blatchley held his position all the way to Norwalk Hospital where they transferred the patient to a team who administered advanced medical care.

Three days later, the CERT member walked in to fire headquarters to thank Lt. Kitik and Firefighter Blatchley for saving his life.

The Wilton firefighters have an aggressive training schedule that includes all facets of what they are expected to do, or may have to do, in the course of their work. We hone our KSA’s (knowledge, skills and abilities) each and every time we come to work in order to be as prepared as we can be. Apparently our EMS training paid off at this incident.

Our Dive Rescue Team (a joint team with the Wilton Police Department) was called to action on Memorial Day in Norwalk Harbor. The victim’s outcome that day was different from the incident on July 12; however, all who were on scene had accolades for our team.

As always, please feel free to drop by our headquarters at Town Hall or Station 2 at 707 Ridgefield Road during daylight hours. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and show you around.

Be safe and have a great summer.