Fort Lauderdale Firefighters Save Colorado Woman Bitten by Rattlesnake

Even when they're not in town, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue are heroing it up. While a group of firefighters was in Colorado attending the Fallen Firefighter Memorial ceremony over the weekend, they decided to climb some rocks there — because, firefighters. Their climb was interrupted by the sound of a woman's scream in the distance. The firefighters found a young woman who had been bitten by a large rattlesnake. The members of the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue then jumped into action, calling 911, notifying local fire rescue, and carrying the woman down the rocks to get medical attention.

According to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, the incident went down on Saturday, when about 30 members of fire rescue were returning to their hotel from the memorial ceremony held in Colorado Springs. On the way to the hotel, the firefighters began talking about some rock formations in the distance. It was then that the conversation turned to how Captain Mike Salzano thought he could climb the roughly 200-foot rock formation in 20 minutes. The other firefighters said he couldn't. And so the crew drove up toward the formation where Salzano took on the challenge.

It was while the firefighters were watching the captain climbing the rocks that they heard the scream. They all ran toward the area where the screaming came from, and there they found a 24-year-old woman with two rattlesnake puncture wounds in her leg. The woman had been walking her dog when the snake attacked, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue says. Blood was trickling out of the wounds, and the woman was lying on the ground, unable to walk from the severe pain.

Captain Steve Gollan quickly called 911 and notified Colorado Springs Fire Rescue of the snake bite. The greater challenge was getting medical attention for the woman. The firefighters didn't know the address of the location where they were standing, so Gollan had to direct the Colorado Springs firefighters to their location using reference points.

Once a rendezvous point was agreed upon, two of the Fort Lauderdale firefighters picked up the woman and carried her from the rock formation where they found her and walked across a large field toward a road where the Colorado Springs firefighters were waiting. 

The men got her to the Colorado Springs firefighters, and the woman received ALS treatment with assistance from the Fort Lauderdale firefighters. She was then taken to a local hospital, where she received several doses of antivenin to treat the bite. The crew from Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue remained on the scene with the woman's dog until her family arrived.

According to the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, the woman's family notified them that she was doing well and that she is expected to make a full recovery following a few more days at the hospital.
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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph