Claremore Firefighter Recovering After Attempt To Save Friend

Wednesday, May 27th 2015, 11:25 pm
By: News On 6

Visitation for fallen firefighter Captain Jason Farley started Wednesday and will resume 8:00 Thursday morning at Rice Funeral Home in Claremore.

As people pay their respects to Farley, the firefighter who tried to save him is back in the hospital, and other firefighters say he has a long road to recover, both physically and mentally.

Lieutenant Zane James is at St. Francis hospital and is doing much better, and while he recovers the community and fellow firefighters are making sure he has the support he needs.

As flags fly at half-staff in Claremore, and as the memorial for Farley grows outside the fire department, James is struggling to recover.

5/25/2015 Related Story: Hundreds Honor Fallen Claremore Firefighter, Family

He was injured in floodwater while trying to save Farley, but the strong current sucked him into a storm pipe.

“Before coming out of the storm pipe he actually gasped, kind of a last gasp, and got quite a bit of water in him," said Chris Hayes with the Claremore Fire Department.

He was trapped in the drainage pipe for about 100 yards.

"He's not ok. He's dealing with some internal issues, some health issues that have come from the cause of this accident, and we are hoping and praying for a full recovery," Hayes said.

James was released from the hospital Monday but was readmitted. Firefighters say he may have left the hospital too soon because of his desire to be there for Farley's family.

"They were very close, this is going to be a very difficult time for Zane," Hayes said.

Boxes are set up all over town where people can leave cards for James, children have drawn fire trucks and left notes of encouragement and one area hair salon is collecting donations.

Claremore resident, Jessica Wilbourn said, "We wanted to bring some positivity back into his life and show him that we love him and appreciate him."

"We give the community our best and it's nice to get that in return," said Hayes.

Farley gave his life trying to save strangers in his community and Hayes said he is missed.

5/26/2015 Related Story: Chilling Details Released Of Incident That Killed Claremore Firefighter

"Boy we miss him around here,” he said. “Jason was larger than life. He had such a dynamic personality and the man loved being a firefighter."

While so many people keep a close eye on James during his recovery, Farley's picture and helmet remain inside station 1 so he can watch over his fellow firefighters.

Farley's helmet was found Wednesday a few blocks away from where he died, by another firefighter. It will be given to his wife at his funeral Saturday.

The doors will open at 10:00 in the morning at the Claremore Expo Center. The funeral is open to the public for the first 1,500 people.