This column from Manchester Living is an ongoing feature recognizing the dedication and everyman heroics of our local first responders.

Firefighter Andrew Floied was able to perform one of the most fulfilling duties someone in his line of work can be called to perform: help rescue a person from a fire.  

The call was at Econo Lodge Inn. It was relatively small, mostly smoke, but potentially lethal.

“It was a really good crew effort. We had a really good day, overall. (Sherman) White was our acting officer that day, and Bradshaw and I were on the line. Bradshaw did a really good job of realizing that somebody was in there. The call didn’t come out as someone inside. It just came out as a room contents fire,” Floied said.

“I had swapped some time with one of (the on-duty shift)…I hadn’t even gotten my stuff off the truck yet when the tones went off,” Floied explained.

Floied went ahead and responded.

“We had a little fire under the window. We stretched lines and tried to force entry through the door,” he said.

The master key would not unlock the room door, so the call was made to enter through the window.

Inside, Tyler Bradshaw noticed that the door was locked from the inside. The situation changed in that moment to a rescue scenario.

“There was just a lot of smoke in the room. We turned around and hit the bed with the flashlights. The victim was lying on the bed,” Floied said.

The firefighter pulled the unconscious person from the room and passed him to the other truck’s crew who turned him over to EMS personnel. The victim would not have lived much longer in the smoke-filled room had the crew not arrived when they did and had he not have been lying face down with the bedding filtering some of his breaths. 

Exclusive Online Content:

 Firefighter Floied almost didn’t become a firefighter.

The following is additional content that didn't appear in printabout his road to recovery following a motorcycle crash.

Manchester Fire and Rescue’s Andrew Floied didn’t intend to be a firefighter. Floied, who has been with the department 4.5 years, planned to become a Marine after his time at Motlow State Community College. But a severe motorcycle crash changed those plans.

“While I was in the delayed entry program and waiting to ship, I was in a motorcycle accident that left me unfit for service,” Floied said.

He was in a wheelchair for three months with a metal pins in his hip, leg and arm. Just relearning to walk was a challenge, yet those obstacles and not having a fallback plan didn’t deter Floied’s dedication to serve, so when former Fire Chief George DeSheilds offered him a job, Floied took the opportunity and hasn’t looked back.

Following the accident, Floied spent a week at Erlanger Hospital and two weeks at a rehab hospital.

“They got me non-weight bearing. After I got out of the wheelchair, I had more physical therapy to get everything moving like it was supposed to,” he said.

Floied had been in prime shape anticipating boot camp. Following physical therapy, he hit the gym again to back into shape. He said that there are still some muscle issues, but they don’t affect his duties at the fire station.

“It was a long process, a lot of work and a lot of time,” he said, modestly noting that within a year he had gone from a wheelchair to being fit for duty.   

Floied is certified as a firefighter and a driver/operator. His primary job is the firefighter, but he can pick up shifts and help out as a driver as needed.

“I have the certification so that I can drive. If I’m running as firefighter and riding in the backseat, I would pull lines (fire hoses), attack fires or, if there are people in the structure, remove victims and salvage the structure afterward, he said.

As a driver, Floied would establish a water supply pumping water to the guys on the nozzle, then set up the rehab scene to make sure those attacking the fire have extra air bottles, tools handy and aiding as needed with their recovery.

It was his primary duties as firefighter that were called for during a recent structure fire at Econo Lodge Inn that almost claimed the life of a victim.

“I had swapped some time with one of (the on-duty shift)…I hadn’t even gotten my stuff off the truck yet when the tones went off,” Floied said.

Floied went ahead and responded.

“We had a little fire under the window. We stretched lines and tried to force entry through the door,” he said.

The master key would not unlock the room door, so the call was made to enter through the window.

Inside, Tyler Bradshaw noticed that the door was locked from the inside. The situation changed in that moment to a rescue scenario.

“There was just a lot of smoke in the room. We turned around and hit the bed with the flashlights. The victim was lying on the bed,” Floied said.

The firefighter pulled the unconscious person from the room and passed him to the other truck’s crew who turned him over to EMS personnel. The victim would not have lived much longer in the smoke-filled room had the crew not arrived when they did and had he not have been lying face down with the bedding filtering some of his breaths. 

“It was a really good crew effort. We had a really good day, overall. (Sherman) White was our acting officer that day, and Bradshaw and I were on the line. Bradshaw did a really good job of realizing that somebody was in there. The call didn’t come out as someone inside. It just came out as a room contents fire,” Floied said.

Floied has several certifications with the department in addition to Fire I and Fire II, and operator driver certification. He intends to remain at Manchester Fire and hopes to climb higher within the department.  Floied has several certifications with the department in addition to Fire I and Fire II, and operator driver certification. He intends to remain at Manchester Fire and hopes to climb higher within the department. 

    

 

 

John has been with the Manchester Times since May 2011. He covers Lifestyles in addition to handling education reporting and general news assignments.John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories. John is a 1994 graduate of Tullahoma High School, a graduate of Motlow State Community College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Tullahoma, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, Mitsy, and his 17-month-old, Sean.

Staff Writer

John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories. He is a graduate of THS, Motlow and MTSU. He lives in Tullahoma, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, Mitsy, and his 17-month-old, Sean.

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