ST. GEORGE – A part-time firefighter sustained neck and back injuries Monday when a garage door fell on him during a house fire. City officials say he is likely to recover, but will be unable to work for the time being.
In order to aid the firefighter and his family with expenses that arise as a consequence of the injury, donation accounts have been set up online and at a local back.
Brent Fackrell, of St. George, was one of 36 firefighters who responded to a fire at 698 Lava Pointe Drive Monday. The fire started outside and had made its way into the attic space above the garage when the garage door came down on him.
“We had a failure of a couple trusses and the garage area and the garage door came down, striking one of the crew that was inside the garage fighting the fire,” St. George Fire Battalion Chief Ken Guard said Monday.
Fackrell was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center for care and was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back, according to a Go Fund Me page set up by Tyler Whitehead, a fellow St. George firefighter.
He has since been released from the hospital and returned home to recover.
“He will be unable to work for a few months,” Whitehead wrote on the donation page.
Family member Teresa Fackrell shared additional details of the incident and extent of Brent Fackrell’s injuries on a Facebook post Wednesday:
Part of the garage holding the garage door and the garage door came down on him. Firefighters on the scene watched it and were able to get him out quickly. They said that his air tank saved him by keeping a gap for him. He was in the ER on Monday and released to go home later that night. He has a concussion, chest contusion, compression fracture in his back and overall pain. The neurologist recommended that Brent not sit up or stand up on his own for a week. Cassidy and Brent are staying with us so we can help him get up and down. He is in a back brace. He is not allowed to lift, bend or twist for a couple of months. He will get a new image in a month.
Added to the overall complexity of the matter is the fact that Fackrell’s wife is also pregnant and expecting in the next month or so.
“It’s an inherently dangerous profession,” St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said of firefighting.
The St. George Department has been lucky that it hasn’t experienced any major accidents over the years. When they do, however, it can be hard to take, he said.
“Our fire service is like a family and we visited him (Thursday) afternoon,” Stoker said. “We wanted to make sure he’s being taken care of.”
Safety is the no. 1 priority of the Fire Department, Stoker said.
Whether it’s in relation to the occupants of a home that’s on fire, the firefighters inside dealing with the fire, or the other emergency responders at the scene or the bystanders gathered to watch the operation, attempting to save the structure on fire comes second.
Firefighters will withdraw their people and let a structure burn if they feel fighting it poses too much of a safety hazard, Stoker said.
“When something like this happens, of course we’re very, very concerned,” St. George Mayor Jon Pike said Thursday.
“I’m grateful (Fackrell’s) going to be OK,” Pike said. “He got some injuries and he’s going to have some recovery, but this could have been a lot worse … I’m thankful for his service as a firefighter.”
As a part-time firefighter, Fackrell does not have health insurance through the city, Stoker said.
Part-timer firefighters are paid an hourly rate and help fill the shifts of firefighters who take time off, while reserve firefighters who are basically on-call and sleep at the fire stations at times get the insurance over the pay.
In order to aid the Fackrell family during the firefighter’s recovery, there is an online Go Fund Me account which has so far raised $1,400, as well as an account at Cache Valley Bank set up by the St. George Fire Association.
The bank account is called the “St. George Volunteer Fire Department For The Benefit Of Brent Fackrell.” According to the St. George Fire Department’s post, 100 percent of donated funds will go to the firefighter and his family.
“We would appreciate everyone’s support in assisting him with his recovery,” Whitehead wrote on the Go Fund Me page. “FF Fackrell is a great father and loves being a fire fighter for this city.”
Ed. note: St. George News has not verified information provided in connection with fundraising accounts mentioned in this article and does not assure that monies deposited to the accounts will be applied as described. Those considering contributions are advised to consult with their own professionals for tax advice and investment risks.
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