Be a Firefighter >> Browse Articles >> Firefighter's Words


Firefighter's Words

My story I have is about my husband, Ted. He’s a FF/Medic in St. Louis county. Clayton, MO to be exact. July 21, 2008 was the worst day of his life.

At 530 a.m. he had a call for a shooting in the community that was adjacent to where he works. A man parked his truck across the street from his house, lit it on fire, and called 911. When the firefighters arrived on the scene…shots were fired from his house. He hit 22 yr. old Ryan Hummert in the back of the head.

Ryan was walking over to the pumper to get hose ready. He died instantly. When Ted arrived on the scene in the ambulance, him and his partner were being shot at also. 2 cops were wounded but not fatally. Meanwhile for 45 minutes Ted sat ducked down behind his ambulance listening to the screams of Ryan’s PASS device coming from his lifeless body. When it was safe, the tactical team grabbed Ryan’s body and took it to Ted. He locked himself and Ryan in the ambulance for about an hour until it was safe for him to take him to the hospital. Ted had to sit there with this young kids body. Its said in the fire business from what I understand that you never leave each others side….well Ted honored that that day. He sat at the hospital with him until it was time to take him to the medical examiners office. Sat through his autopsy (and 2 others that weren’t related to this call), took him to the funeral parlor and sat though his embalming and preparation for services….he never left his side. It was a horrible thing for him to go through. All the emotions of Ryans crew, his own crew, and family and friends were overwhelming. He held it together exceptionally well. Back at the scene, the coward that shot at everyone and having a stand off with the police lit his house on fire and shot himself in the head. No one knows why the guy snapped.

Ted came home a different person. He has fallen apart. He’s broken now. I see someone that was a happy guy who would do anything for anybody now a reclusive person. It’s sad.

Rest in peace, Ryan.