MOUNT DORA – Lake County Public Safety Lt./Paramedic Chad Eason this week put his many years of training and experience to the test, successfully rescuing a victim trapped inside a burning home.
“You can go your whole career without a rescue,” said Eason, who’s been with the department for eight years. “Everyone is happy we saved not only a life, but also a house. There was a lot saved that day.”
Eason was assigned to Engine 27 in Eustis when the call came in Tuesday for a structure fire in Mount Dora. Multiple units arrived to the scene, and Eason, along with his partner, breached the home’s door and did a “right hand” search around the smoke-filled interior.
“My partner went left and I went right,” Eason said. “I happened to find the victim. I was at the right place at the right time.”
The victim was unresponsive, wedged in a hallway on the floor between a wall and a dryer. She was covered in soot and sweat, and Eason could feel the heat from the fire emanating off of her body when he scooped her into his arms.
“She popped up and looked at me right in the eyes,” he said. “I said, ‘I’m going to get you out of this house.’”
The lieutenant did just that with the help of fellow Lake County firefighters, the Mount Dora Fire Department and Lake Emergency Medical Services. “It was a team effort to get her out,” Eason said.
And while that may be true, Eason is justifiably receiving congratulatory pats on the back for his actions. The victim’s daughter has reached out to thank him, and he says he would like to meet the woman he saved after she is fully recovered.
“I am personally proud of Lt. Eason’s outstanding and selfless life-saving efforts,” said Lake County Public Safety Chief John Jolliff. “Lt. Eason exemplifies the training and dedication shared by all Lake County Fire Rescue personnel.”