Monday, February 22, 2016

Off-duty EMT Saves Lives in Home Fire

By Kimberly Blanco

Paramedic Kristin Genova
In the early hours of the morning on July 29, 2015, Kristin Genova was driving home after a long shift with the Denver Paramedics Division when she noticed flames. Kristin immediately pulled her car to a stop in a safe location and called 911. After hanging up the phone, she approached the building and saw that the garage of the condominium complex was ablaze.

While she is not a trained firefighter, Kristin approached the front door to see who might be inside. She quickly noticed that the entry was blocked by fire, so she proceeded to the back side of the building. Beside the door was a sign that read “oxygen in use.” Kristin knew that she had to act fast. As she pounded on the door, a frightened elderly couple answered. Once she explained who she was, the couple opened the door to receive her help. “They both used walkers, so I got their walkers and escorted them across the street to a safer area,” Genova recalled.

Once the couple was safe, Kristin approached the other residence, helping another family with two children and a dog to safety. Then, she waited with the elderly couple until their family arrived.

In most cases, you only have about two minutes to evacuate a home fire. Kristin Genova’s quick actions that night likely saved lives. For that we will honor her with the Red Cross Disaster Response Award at the Red Cross Heroes Soiree on Friday, Feb. 26. The event is sold out, but we encourage you to read about the heroes we will be honoring, share their stories, and support the Red Cross by making a donation or attending the Heroes Soiree After Party, which is open to the general public.

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