On Christmas eve they responded to a call for a car fire. But this routine job was different…it was an ambush.
There was a house and a car burning on arrival and they quickly went to work. What they couldn’t see in the size up was a waiting psycho killer who had positioned his cowardly self as a sniper on a berm above the unknowing Firefighters.
Before they could begin to hit the fire, the Firefighters were met with gunfire.
Four were hit, and two were murdered. Radio traffic demonstrates amazing heroism by the surviving Firefighters (you can listen the the recording below).
The 2 Firefighters killed in the Line of Duty were Michael J. Chiapperini, 43, a local Police Lieutenant, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, a 911 Dispatcher for Monroe County. The two wounded Firefighters, Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter fortunately survived.
When any first responder dies in the Line of Duty, the least we do is to learn from it and use it to prevent similar tragedies.
Today, we remember the friends and families of the late Mike Chiapperini, Tomasz Kaczowka, and the officers and members of the West Webster FD. RIP.
Please use the resources below.
HERE is an “on demand” webinar related to ACTIVE SHOOTER incidents, featuring a West Webster Fire Officer: https://info.lexipol.com/fire-active-shooter-sl
THE RADIO TRAFFIC:
Below is the incredible radio traffic from that incident.
LISTEN as the injured Firefighters, Joseph Hofstetter, who is also a career Firefighter with the Rochester FD, and Theodore Scardino, are incredibly in control on the radio, despite their own serious wounds, as they provide updates, protecting other FF’s, EMT’s and Police Officers-saving more lives.
Lastly, it’s impossible to not recognize the fire radio dispatcher working this incident-he is as professional as it gets.