Updated: 02/12/2013 6:08 AM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls
Three Minneapolis firefighters knew they had to enter Accent Signage to help wounded victims with the shooter still on the loose.
Captain Timothy Baynard and firefighters Milagros Ramos and Joseph Silva were inside Accent Signage within five minutes of the first call that went out alerting police and firefighters of the mass shooting last fall. Their job was to get in and out as quickly as they could, with police protection, to extricate the wounded.
With no weapons, flak jackets, or head gear, the three went inside the building knowing the shooter could easily target them as they tried to save the people who had been shot.
Captain Baynard tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it was the most "harrowing experience I have ever had as a firefighter." There were multiple victims and Captain Baynard says his crew had to figure out who was still alive and move them to a waiting ambulance as quickly as they could. Unfortunately, only one of the seven victims survived the shooting and each of the firefighters told me they would do it all over again to help save someone.
Just months prior to the Accent Signage rampage, the Minneapolis Fire Department trained its personnel with police to respond to a mass shooting. Each of the three firefighters we talked to told us they didn't think they would ever have to use the training they received. But now, they tell us they are happy they got the training, because it automatically kicked in and helped them through a very tragic moment.