Tulsa Firefighters Assaulted On Medical Call

Monday, March 9th 2009, 7:50 am
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Some Tulsa Firefighters are a little bruised up.  They were attacked while trying to help an elderly woman who was having chest pains.

Dispatch received the 911 call around 11:30 on Sunday night and three and a half minutes later, a fire truck with four firefighters on it arrived at the scene.  But, as soon as they stepped out, they say they were being cussed at for taking so long.

Firefighter Robert Redricks was the first off the truck and says a man immediately began cursing him and telling him to hurry up.

"I'm telling him calm down, I'm here to help your grandmother and he's saying you need to hurry up and just chewing me out," said firefighter Robert Redricks.

Robert's first move was to grab the heavy medical bag so he could help the woman on the porch, but he says the man just got more aggressive.

"I set the bag down, proceeded to back up and he took it I was refusing care, so he took his shirt off and next thing you know, he's getting ready to swing on me," said firefighter Robert Redricks.

He says the other firefighters were also being harassed by six girls, but the man went into the house, so firefighters were able to get to the porch to help the woman in distress, but not for long.

 Robert says the man came charging at him and everything went crazy.

"All I remember was being on my back with the guy on my chest, just wailing," said firefighter Robert Redricks.  "Yeah, Tracy Keel gets the guy off me, that's when three girls attack him. They're stomping and kicking me the whole time I'm on my back. Three girls jump on him and three other girls jump on Captain Blackburn."

Other firefighters and police showed up and the people scattered and ran.  EMSA was able to load the woman into an ambulance.

Firefighters were shocked, but mostly, sad, they weren't able to help the woman in need.

"I can still envision her sitting on the porch, breathing hard, laboring. I'm still, I hate we didn't get to her, along with my crew," said firefighter Robert Redricks.

No one has been arrested yet for the attack.  There is a state law that makes it illegal to interfere with a firefighter's duties.

Redricks is thankful they made it out of there with only a few bruises and says while they'll be more cautious on calls in the future.  Nonetheless, he still loves his job.