GRABS Podcast

GRABS Podcast

GRABS Podcast: Grant Schwalbe and Justin McWilliams bringing you the stories of the victim rescues being made all over the country.

Brothers in Battle Media History 60 rész .
Grabs 60: Pearland, TX (Nov 17, 2007)
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60-Jacob Johnson

Pearland FD, TX

Nov 17, 2007

6:15 AM 

Column Showing-2 story

Reading Windows

Confirmed Entrapment 

Zero Visibility 

Large victim, face down

Difficulty Dragging Victim-lifting over step

Communication problems

Using body to shield victim from fire

Handed off first victim and completed search (Falsely reported a second victim)

6-7 min arrival to victim out 

Grabs 59: Fort Myers, FL (2018)
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59-Neil Graham

Fort Myers, FL


No info via 911, on arrival told mom was inside 

Engine Based Search

4 man engine-officer went ahead of the line

Well trained crew and dialed in with skills

Quick Grab <3 min 

Head first drag

Neil-(239) 292-2124

Grabs 58: Fort Myers, FL (January 2005)
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58-Neil Graham 

Fort Myers, FL

Jan 2005

On way to medical and diverted.  Dress on the way.

2 bedroom small house (under 1000SF)

Kitchen Fire

Cops inside trying to help (they find one baby)

Lots of clothes and clutter (hiding victim)

Multiple Victims-Kid under the mom 

Took kid first and came back for mom

Take out the easiest grab first (take the sure thing)

Pass the victim off if you can.  Search team finishes search if possible

Search with your hands

<5 min until victim out

**To record a Grabs Podcast text Grant at 239-898-0843 or**

Grabs 57: Escambia County, FL (Jan 28, 2021)
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January 28, 2021

BC Curt Isakson, LT Daniel Mills, FF Jeff Fangman (L12)

955 Disp, 1002 Vict Found, 1004 Victim out

1st 2 rigs out training

Quick Arrival, Fire Showing

L12 assigned VES

Tall Windows, Cluttered Room, Door blocked

*Come off mask up if you’re assigned search and go right to work.

*Send a line to VES points to protect FF’s if needed. Especially if you’re down wind from the fire.

Grabs 56: Anonymous FD, IN (Jan 19, 2013)
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56-Anonymous FD, IN


Jan 19, 2013

3 blocks from station 

Hoarding conditions 

Nothing/Light smoke showing 

Zero viz inside

Confirmed victim inside-son said one of 2 rooms.

She moaned when touched.

300 lb victim


Difficult removal

Girth hitch with webbing

7 min to locate victim, 1 min to extricate

Grabs 55: Richton Park FD, Illinois (Dec 25, 2020)
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55-Bill Kennedy


Richton Park FD, Illinois

Single Family Home with smoke showing

PD and bystanders report victim inside sub grade


Daughter (Walking) and Mother Bed ridden

Both Victims Large

Use of additional companies and stokes basket.

Grabs 54: Sacramento Metro Fire, CA (Dec 26, 2020)
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54-Nathan Hofford

Sacramento Metro Fire

Dec 26, 2020

1 story single family home 1200’

Known Victim BC Bedroom

Hindered access alpha side


Brittle Glass-Room lit off after taking window-Knocked down quickly with hose line.

Lots of clutter

Victim could be heard

Tight path for victim removal

Grabs 53: South Carolina (Dec 2013)
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53-Jason Joannides

South Carolina

Dec 2013

Inaction from first arriving companies

2 story townhouse

Christmas Tree Fire

Dad makes it to kids room-overcome by smoke falls out window

18 month old and 5 year old

Be aggressive

Grabs 52: Bristol, NH (Aug 15, 2020)
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52-Bristol, NH

August 15, 2020

George Clayman

Chris Dolloff

Limited Staffing

12’ by 50’ Mobile Home

Victim Reported by Neighbor

Victim found on bed

Slippery-No clothes

Easy to loose awareness during victim removal

Looking for second victim (That wasn’t inside)

Chief Car set up for worst case scenario-to go in.

Grabs 51: Sarasota County, FL (Dec 26, 2020)
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51-Sarasota County, FL 


Chuck Reynolds 

Mid-Afternoon Fire

Confirmed victim in upstairs bedroom


Patio with doors to bedroom

110 lbs victim

Dual Ground Ladders-Removal

Grabs 50: Anonymous (Georgia) (May 2020)
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Guests: Lt. Brian Gregory, Driver Hank Tiller, and Firefighter Clint Carey

Date of rescue: 5.23.20

Dept: NE Georgia FD (metro Atlanta)...guys wish to keep the dept anonymous

Single family dwelling (split entry/bi-level)

Attempted VES

Barricaded civilian

Grabs 49: ELI
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December 9th, 2020

New Tazewell, TN (South Claiborne Vol FD)

Chris, Nicole and son Eli (7 years old)

Grabs 48: Easton, PA (Dec 5, 2020)
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Easton, Pa

Doug Cochran

Came in as AFA (Multiple Heat detectorsO

No additional calls, no reports of people inside

Screen door and deadbolt locked

Conditions/Heat/Visability got worse once after water was applied (exterior)

Leg drag (120lbs)

Passed off victim to complete search

Searching with hands, not a tool

Grabs 47: St. Catharines, Canada (2017)
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Cody Gillies

New rig (with clean cab) If it happens practice it.

Multiple Ignition Points

Hoarder Conditions

Clothes ripped off

Victim was hanging (attempted suicide)

Grabs 46: East Metro, Co (2020)
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Tom Johnson

East Metro (CO) Fire Department


Apartment complex (center hallway)


Multiple rescues (one primarily discussed in this episode)

Fitness and skill levels were off the charts of the firefighters involved


Fit to Fight Fire website
Fit to Fight Fire Podcast Episode 64 - Your Finest Hour, a roundtable discussion with Tom Johnson, Dan DeJesus, Jack Thompson, and Hunter Hackbarth of this same rescue from multiple different perspectives

Grabs 45: Escambia County, FL (Sept 21, 2020)
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Keith Chapman, Escambia County, FL (Panhandle)

Post Hurricane Conditions-East Lake FD assisting as Strike Team Engine.

1200 Sq ft house

Heavy Smoke and Fire Showing, Door Open, Occupant still on phone with 911

Quick out the door time-Pulse point as the cheat

Fire on the Stove, Semi Hoarding Conditions

Being able to search ahead of the attack line (2 engines arrived together).

Officer leads the way out but cut off from fire-window removal.

Grabs 44: Anonymous (8/2017)
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August 2017

3 Story Apartment Building Fire

Searching ahead of the hose for visibility.

Searching with a can

Listen for victim coughing

Dragging without being able to duckwalk (heat-stay low)

Passing off a victim

Knowing the layouts of your buildings. Undress it from the outside.

Grabs 43: Charlotte, NC ( Sept 2020)
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September 13, 2020

Post removal care-consider Hydrogen Cyanide Poisoning,

Sodium Disulfate

LODD-Richard Sheltra (April 30, 2016). Edwin Watts Golf Store Fire (Fire Smoke Coalition)

Mike Gerin 980-333-3446

Grabs 42: Kent, OH (2018)
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January 1, 2018

5 Story Senior Apartment Complex

Came in as Automatic Alarm

Nothing Showing Upon Arrival…don’t be complacent

2 minute response time

Be familiar with all riding assignments

Be good with the basics (like making up). It will allow you to buy back time for mistakes or hiccups.

Get low don’t stand

Shut up and listen….Gary heard coughing

Assisting a victim out.

Time from arrival to victim out was 2 minutes

Grabs 41: Belleville, IL (8/2020)
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Belleville, IL 8/23/2020

This story highlights the importance of knowing your first due, coordination between the triangle offense (search, attack, and vent), and closed doors buying time for victims.

Grabs 40: Porter FD, TX (2018)
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Porter Fire Department, Texas 6/28/2018

JD Fisher (Lt)

Apartment Fire 2 story (first floor garage)

800 SF Apartment

2 different departments (Auto Aid) Communication problems on radio and inside.

2 on FA, 2 on Search Split apartment

Zero Visabiity, No heat

Oriented Search

Walked into Victim in main area of apartment after searching bedrooms (line stretched over victim)

350 lbs victim

Slick-Hard to Grip, Minimal Clothing

Head first drag

4 minutes to find her and 4 minutes from finding her to removal

Grabs 39: Savannah, GA (2019)
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Savanna, Ga 12/15/2019

Acting Officer and Acting Engineer

Heavy Fire on Alpha Side

Wires Down

Victims Reported on Dispatch and Bystanders

Heard Victim

Heavy Content

Head First Removal

6 minute Removal

Multiple Victims

Grabs 38: Coventry Twp, OH (2020)
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Delayed backup-Functioning on scene by themselves for a while.

Dispatched as trapped victims, on scene reports were vacant

Hasty Engine based search

Searching behind doors

Get low-Life Fire and Layout

Grabs 37: Moncton Fire Department, New Brunswick Canada (2020)
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Initial reports of victim trapped on Floor 2, confirmed by bystanders.

Hoarder Conditions

Searching with hands not tools

Handing off the victim and finishing the search.

Victim removal 3:20 after arrival.

Grabs 36: Columbus, Ohio (2020)
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Single unit response to automatic fire alarm.

Engine company grab considerations,

Different entry points-doors open to different parts of the house.

Girth hitch with webbing for removal.

Time from arrival to en route to hospital 7 min.

Grabs 35: Sault Ste Marie, Canada (2018)
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2 in 2 out discussion

What to do while you wait-counting doors getting a look.

Finishing the search if the grab is easy or you can pass off the victim.

Grabs 34: Sacramento County, CA (2019)
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Grant speaks with Bryce Beverage about a second grab that he had in 2019 in Sac Metro.
Grabs 33: San Francisco, CA (2010)
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Justin speaks with Mariano Elias about a grab make on 1/17/2010 in San Francisco, CA.
Grabs 32: Lawrence, SC (2013)
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Grant speaks with Michael Dozier about a grab made in Lawrence, SC in September of 2013.
Grabs 31: Fairview, KS (2020)
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Grant speaks with Riley Wells about a grab made in Fairview, KS on 4/16/2020
Grabs 30: Grant, Justin and Nick
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Grant Schwalbe 239-898-0843

Justin McWilliams 503-729-2734

Nick Ledin

Grabs 29: Tupelo, MS 2017
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Justin speaks with Terry Robinson about a grab made in Tupelo, MS on 2/15/2017
Grabs 28: Winter Park, FL 2012
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Grant talks with Eric Wheaton about a grab made by his crew in Winter Park, FL on 6/8/2012
Grabs 27: Mankato, MN
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Nick speaks with Ryan Fitzgerald about a VES grab he made with his crew in Mankato, MN.
Grabs 26: Sacramento County, CA 2017
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Grant talks with Bryce Beverage about a grab his crew made on Dec 30, 2017 in Sacramento, Ca. (Sacramento Metro Fire District)
Grabs 25: Clinton, MS
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Justin speaks with James Barlow and Greg Chappell about a grab made in Clinton MS Feb 4, 2019. This is a unique interview because you get two perspectives.
Grabs 24: Winter Park, FL 2018
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Grant speaks with Scott Ketchum from Winter Park, FL about a fatal fire that occurred in Feb 2018. While the Grab wasn’t able to be made in this case, there are always lessons to learn.
Grabs 23: Wichita, KS
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Grant speaks with Shawn Hayes from Wichita Fire in KS about a grab made on 2/2/2020
Grabs 22: Spotsylvania, Va
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Grant speaks with Jay Clegg about a grab made in Spotsylvania, Va on May 18, 2018.
Grabs 21: Inver Grove Heights, MN
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Justin speaks with Josh Parrow about a grab made in Inver Grove Heights, MN on Feb 24, 2018.
Grabs 20: Springfield Twp, OH
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Grant speaks with Andrew Sauder about a grab made in Springfield Twp (Lucas County) Ohio
Grabs 19: Seattle, WA
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Justin speaks with Tommy Hofland about a grab make in May 2020.
Grabs 18: Venice, FL
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Nick speaks with BC Scott Blanchard (Venice [FL] Fire Department). Chief paints a colorful picture of their double grab, an 81 year old and a 9 month old.
Grabs 17: Pinellas Park, FL
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Grant Speaks with TJ Layfield about a grab made on March 17, 2018
Grabs 16: Erin, TN (Houston County)
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Justin speaks with Dustin Sinclair about a grab made in the rural department of Erin, Tennessee.

Grabs 15: Sault Ste. Marie, Canada
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Grant speaks with Josh Scott of Sault Ste. Marie Canada about a Grab they has in June of 2019.

Grabs 14: Duluth, MN
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Nick Ledin talks with Dave Werner about a grab made in Duluth, MN on February 14, 2017.

Grabs 13: Atlanta, Ga
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Grant Schwalbe speaks with Captain Danny Dwyer about a grab made in Atlanta, Ga in 2019
Grabs 12: Snohomish County, WA
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Grant speaks with Rodney Hewitt Jr from Snohomish County WA about a grab made on April 19, 2020

GRABS 11: South Metro Fire, MN
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Justin McWilliams speaks with Nate Rank from South Metro, MN about a grab they made in 2017
GRABS 10: Hickory, NC
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Grabs 10 Alex Smith Hickory Fire Department (North Carolina) joins Grant to talk about a grab made on July 16, 2017.

GRABS 9: Baltimore County, MD
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Justin talks with Dan Dubbs with Baltimore County Fire.

GRABS 8: Clearwater, FL
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Grant speaks with Paul Capo about a grab he had in Clearwater, FL in 2010.

GRABS 7: Birmingham, AL
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Justin talks with Clay McGee from Birmingham, AL.

GRABS 6: South Portland, ME
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Justin McWilliams talks with Hale Fitzgerald from South Portland about a grab on October 31, 2018.

GRABS 5: Tonganoxie, KS
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Grant is joined by David Mellen to talk about a victim grab in 2014 in the small town of Tonganoxie, KS.

Episode 4: Hillsborough County, FL
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Grant talks with Paul George about an interesting grab in Hillsborough County, FL.

Episode 3: Deland, FL
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Grant talks with Nate Carn from Deland, FL about a grab made in June 2019.

Episode 2: Fort Walton Beach, FL
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Grant gets the rundown from Captain DJ Stone on a VES rescue in Fort Walton Beach, FL..

Episode 1: Clackamas, OR
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Grant and Justin discuss a grab of a young man by Justin’s rescue company in Clackamas, OR.

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