Fire Department Hell

by Shayna Van Tine
(Ashcroft BC)

I am a 20 year old female, part of a volunteer Fire deaprtment in my hometown, Ashcroft BC. One night, one May 28, 2008 at about 8:30 my husband and I were in our backyard(he too is fire dept.) When our neighbor's shed all of a sudden had a small explosion and within seconds was engulfed in flames.


The shed belonged to a local cafe which was right across the alley from my home, so it was very very close! While I ran in the house to grab my cell to call 911, my husband got in the truck and got it started to get to the fire hall and sound the alarm. I geared up and was heading for our main truck to put on my air tank and mask. (the fire was basically across the street from the fire hall) I was just stepping up on the truck and i ducked under the safety rail as I am not quiet tall enough to push it out of the way while crawling up. While i did that, my boot stuck to the checker plating on the running boards and as my body went forward, my knee bent backwards.

There are 2 steps to get onto the truck and when I stand on the first one, my knee is directly level with the edge of the top one, so that is what forced my knee backwards as my weight went forward. I just remember a loud pop and I had the wind knocked out of me.

I kinda sat there for a second and pulled my legs over the edge of the platform so my legs were hanging off the side. I just remember saying to another firefighter " I just dislocated my knee" and he just looked at me like I was stupid and laughed and went to walk away, so i said it again, and he looked at me and said "your not kidding, are you?!" Well he believed me then!

I was helped off the firetruck and sat on a tailgate of a nearby truck while someone called the ambulance. While the ambulance was on its way my dad showed up from 10 Km away in Cache Creek BC, because someone phoned him saying my house was on fire in Ashcroft!! Luckily it was the shed behind us and not a lot of damage was done. The firefighters had it out in less than 20 minutes. 3 were hurt bad enough to be hospitalized short term for treatment, mostly smoke inhalation. Our house was safe!

So the ambulance informed me it would be $90 to take me to the hospital 4 blocks away, I said no way I was paying that, i'd rather walk! so my dad drove me while my husband made sure our house was OK and brought the truck up a few minutes later. It was a long task to get a diagnosis because everyone thought I had torn cartilage. So I was put on WCB and was on crutches for 2 weeks before I could walk properly again.

3 months later and a CT scan, I was diagnosed with a completely torn ACL ..... Not fun at all. So i was put on heavy physio 3 x a week for 1 month then sent back to my surgeon, who today, Sept 3 2008 decided he is going to do surgery due to lack of improvement in instability. He thinks the two ends hanging off the bone are catching in my joint, causing it to lock and re-dislocate..... Very painful by the way! So he is going to scope my knee and see if there is anymore damage than originally thought and if he can, he is going to cut away ligament pieces and try me on therapy again and see if the helps stability, or he may reconstruct the whole thing while he is there. It depends on what he sees and how bad the damage is.

I am not fond of hospitals and needles and the works so I thought I would read up and find out what is ahead of me so it is not a suprise and it also helps calm me down a bit to know exactly what will be done and why and what I can expect for recovery.

I will keep you posted on my surgery when I am booked, in about a month we will say because it is WCB, so i will be sent to a private clinic for faster service. Ill keep in touch.

Thanks you for letting me tell my story!

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