Firefighters Are ‘A Special Breed’

SPOKANE — Shawn Poole was one of the dozens of Spokane firefighters who were called in to the three-alarm blaze at the Joel Building Thursday. By day’s end, however, he was the luckiest of them all.

“Firefighters are a special breed, really resilient and we bounce back,” he said.

Poole, a firefighter from Station 4, survived a fall down a staircase during the offensive attack on the interior of the Joel Building fire early Thursday morning. One moment he was fighting the fire and the next he was in a free-fall. He injured one of his legs and his ribs in the fall.

“I really didn’t have any thoughts because my ribs hurt so bad and I couldn’t breathe,” he said.

A 16-year veteran firefighter, this was the first time Poole has been injured in the line of duty. Poole was placed in an ambulance and taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Then, less than six hours after he was injured, Poole was released from the hospital and with the aid of a pair of crutches was back with his brothers from Station 4 at the Joel Building.

“Just to check on my fellow firefighters to see how they were doing,” Poole explained. “It’s a big family and that’s how it’s always been, and that’s how it will always be.”