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, house-keeping and the like.

Two firefighters–Lt. Gregg Kitik and FF Mike Blatchley–came in a bit later for a special detail to staff Engine Co. 3 for the Wilton Street 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. We attempt to get out to as many public events as possible in order to provide this service for those who can’t get to the firehouse or call during the week.

At approximately 3:45 p.m., as the Street Fair wound down, one our CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) 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 was starting lose consciousness.

Lt. Kitik and FF Blatchley immediately saw that, in fact, the CERT member had nicked an artery on his arm, and they took quick action to stop the bleeding. The Lt. called for an EMS response while FF Blatchley pinched off the artery and applied pressure to the wound. The ambulance that was on duty at the fair responded quickly while the paramedics rolled to the scene. For fear of a worsening condition, FF Blatchley held his position with the patient all the way to Norwalk Hospital, where they transferred him  to the medical team which administered advanced medical care.

Three days later, the recuperating CERT member walked in to fire headquarters to thank Kitik and Baltchley 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. Clearly our EMS training paid off at this incident.

Previously, our Dive Rescue Team (joint team with the Wilton Police Department) was called into action on Memorial Day in Norwalk Harbor. Sadly, 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. We are ready.

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

Be safe and have a great summer.