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God Bless Benjamin M. Lang


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Toogoofy317 non-obstructed hcm, AICD 11-01-02 and 10-6-05 Find out more about Toogoofy317
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  • God Bless Benjamin M. Lang

    WINTER HAVEN - A Polk County ambulance rushing a critical patient to Winter Haven Hospital on Monday skidded into a tree on State Road 542, killing a county firefighter who was aiding ambulance crew members.

    Firefighter-Emergency Medical Technician Benjamin M. Lang, 22, with County Engine 8 near Cypress Gardens, is the first career firefighter killed in the line of duty. Lang was declared dead at the scene. County firefighters were with his mother and father Monday night.

    The patient and the paramedic Lang was helping were both airlifted to Lakeland Regional Medical Center. The driver was taken to Winter Haven Hospital by ground as a precaution, sheriff's spokeswoman Carey Rodgers said. Friends identified the paramedic as Mike Tomlinson. He reportedly underwent surgery for facial and arm injuries last night.

    Clerk Juan Mojica at the Granados produce stand just west of the crash site was helping a customer and didn't notice the approaching ambulance, at first.

    "Then, I heard a noise and saw the wheels of the truck going up," Mojica said.

    Mojica asked the customer he was serving to dial 911 on her cellular phone, but couldn't get an answer for what seemed like a full minute.

    County spokespersons declined to give the nature of the call that took Lang's life. Emergency medical service crews typically enlist a firefighter's help in the patient compartment while working a cardiac arrest.

    Traffic homicide investigators were unsure why the ambulance lost control while traveling under lights and siren about 5:25 p.m. just west of Carl Floyd Road. Early reports suggest ALS 12, also stationed at Cypress Gardens, may have been overtaking a vehicle when the driver lost control during a cloudburst, Sheriff's Col. Grady Judd said. The ambulance skidded onto the north shoulder and overturned on the grass.

    The force of the crash ripped the patient compartment from the ambulance frame and wrapped it around a solitary pine tree about 10 feet off the road. A witness reported that the driver was carried from the ambulance by a bystander.

    "We still have many witnesses to interview and a lot of evidence to collect," Judd said.

    County EMS Director Raymond Chatlos left the scene to attend a critical incident stress management counseling session established responders to the one-vehicle crash. Deputy County Executive J.R. Rodin Jr. was also at the crash, but did not make a statement.

    Lang of Winter Haven, joined the department as a career firefighter in July 2001 and participated in Hurricane Charley relief efforts, Fire Chief Doug Lewis said. He was a part-time firefighter earlier.

    "We'll work through it," Lewis said.

    I know the medic on the unit and although I did not know the firefighter personally I still feel as if I lost a brother. May God bless his family in this dark hour. Our county has had a lot of tragedy as of late. Three stations have been destroyed. three medics injured and a firefighter gone. His sacrifice will not be forgotton.

    I am a back up to this Unit. How easy it could have been for me to be on that ambulance. Interesting that they were working on a cardiac arrest.

    Mary S.

  • #2
    Re: God Bless Benjamin M. Lang

    Mary, I am sorry for your loss and the loss to your community. As a daughter of a volunteer EMT/first aider I know all too well the risks taken to help others. There is a special place in heaven for people like Benjamin.
    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
    Currently not obstructed
    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)