A SIMPLE SHOPPING errand resulted in a heart-breaking incident that prompted Firefighter/Paramedic Wesley Manning to act heroically.
Wes Manning was off-duty, shopping for towels at his local Costco. While browsing towards the rear of the store, he heard gunshots ring out. Turmoil ensued as terrified shoppers scrambled towards emergency exits.
Wes encouraged his fellow shoppers to remain calm and quiet as he helped usher them out of a nearby exit. Instead of fleeing for safety, Wes chose to stay inside the store in case someone needed help.
Manning cautiously made his way from the emergency exit through the aisles until he came upon a male lying on the ground. The man was leaning on his side while pointing the barrel of the firearm down a separate aisle.
Wes crouched behind a waist-high refrigerator unit for cover, then calmly engaged the man with the gun. Wes asked the man a series of simple questions and learned that no other shooters were present. At great personal risk, Wes proceeded to search the scene and encountered multiple victims — one deceased and two requiring immediate medical attention.
With help from a few brave Costco employees, Wes tended to the gunshot wounds of the victims. Wes remained with the victims until law enforcement and medical help arrived. After the two conscious victims were in the hands of paramedics, Wes returned to examine the gunman for injuries while police secured the scene. After a nerve-racking 25-minute ordeal, Wes helped turn the shooter over to law enforcement without further incident.
Thanks to Firefighter/Paramedic Manning and a few courageous Costco employees, the two wounded victims survived.
Station of the Year – Fire Station 9
FIRE STATION 9 is located in downtown Los Angeles, serving the community referred to as Skid Row. Despite covering a relatively small geographical service area, Station 9 has historically ranked as one of the busiest, if not the busiest fire station in the nation. Station 9 serves an area plagued by some of the most dangerous, sensitive, and complex challenges facing our communities. The approximately 60 firefighters at Station 9 regularly respond to everything from seizures and overdoses, to stalled elevators and commercial fires — all in an area defined by extreme poverty and homelessness. Station 9 averages about 80 emergency calls per day. Many of the 7,000 homeless people living on Skid Row rely on these firefighters as their primary health care provider. The Station 9 crew does their best to help these patients who are often victims of crime, or crippled by addiction and psychiatric disorders from years of living on the street.
In 2019 alone, Station 9 logged nearly 22,800 emergency calls across just 1.28 square miles — about 7,500 more than the LAFD’s next-busiest station. Serving one of our most vulnerable communities has given those at Station 9 a unique perspective on life in Los Angeles. But rather than dwell on non-stop challenges, they serve with pride, professionalism, and a sense of family shaped by their shared commitment to one of the city’s most intense assignments.
Photos courtesy of LAFD Flickr