Injured Wellston Firefighter Recovering

Tuesday, April 14th 2009, 8:26 am
By: News On 6 for

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- The town of Wellston sustained substantial damage last week after grassfires sprung up throughout the state. One Lincoln County firefighter was seriously injured while battling to save homes and other buildings.

Firefighter David Milby of the Iowa Fire Department was listed in critical condition at INTEGRIS Baptist in Oklahoma City after suffering burns over 26 percent of his body. Of those burns, 8.5 percent were considered third-degree burns.

He went through the first of many surgeries Monday and his son said the injuries should get everyone thinking about emergency responders.

When the fires raged across Oklahoma, one rushed towards Route 66 in Wellston, towards a stuck fire truck, and towards Iowa tribe volunteer firefighter Milby.

“He didn’t look like the man that I know,” Milby’s son, Rocky Salim said. “It was pretty shocking.”

Milby’s family worries that the firefighter could suffer long-term effects of getting caught in the flames.

“Is he going to be able to still go back to work as a policeman and fireman because that’s what he loves,” Salim said.

Salim said the pain and suffering Milby has and will experience should serve as a reminder of what all firefighters risk when they fight blazes to keep citizens and their homes safe.

“We know that he’s a police officer, a fireman,” Salim said. “We knew there was a risk of this happening. I don’t know we were prepared for this. These guys make sacrifices everyday and it’s important for us to remember those sacrifices.”

A benefit dinner and pie/cake auction is being held for Milby and his family Saturday, April 18. The dinner and auction will be held in the cafeteria at the Wellston High School and will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Wellston High School is located at 6 Street and Birch.