Rescue workers make the ultimate risk daily - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Rescue workers make the ultimate risk daily

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August 17, 2007

Albany -- Lieutenant Robert Medlock has worked at the Albany Fire Department for 13 years. He was born and also grew up in Albany, and now is raising his own family in "the good life city."

"My son, Elliot, he is nine, but will turn 10 in November. And I have a daughter, Andrea. She is two and will be three in November," said Medlock.

Lieutenant Medlock and 170 of his co-workers come to work everyday knowing they may not make it home.

"When I first started here I couldn't sleep at night. I would just lay in bed all night scared of missing the truck or scared of what we were going to do. But after 12 years its just another thing," said Medlock.

A relaxed mind set that can only come through constant training and experience.

"You got to have confidence in your equipment, the people you are working with and the methods that we use to prevent does risks to be successful," said Albany Fire Chief, Ron Rowe. "You build confidence through training."

But training can only prepare you for so much. "Most calls are unknown. You can't train for a specific thing and the call happens just like you trained for. Training is like a guideline," said Medlock.

"Sometimes you can't prevent the unknowns. And its the unknowns that usually get you," said Rowe.

During an emergency there is one thing that rescuers keep in mind. "If there is nothing to gain, you don't risk anything. But if there is something to gain, of course you are going to risk whatever is necessary to get that gain," said Rowe. 

A risk they know may come up and are willing to take.

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