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Here Say is a project in community storytelling. We travel to a new place each week and ask people to share true stories about things we all experience: love, family, learning, etc.Click here for a full-screen or mobile-ready map.00000178-cc7d-da8b-a77d-ec7d2fad0000

Here Say: Your Stories about Rescue, Told at Fire Station No. 1

Abigail Keel
Tim Taylor at Fire Station No. 1

Here Say is a project in community storytelling. We travel to a new place each week and ask people to share true stories about things we all experience: love, family, learning and more. To see where we've been, check out our interactive map. And to hear your favorite stories from last season, you can find our free podcast on itunes.

Tim Taylor told us that the Hollywood scene of a firefighter carrying people from a blazing building is not all that common, but saving lives still happens.


You could define rescue in a number of ways. Personally, I’ve--if you want to call it a rescue,--I personally have helped save the life--my crew and I-- of 14 different people who were in cardiac arrest. I mean technically we rescued them. They were dead on the street and we brought them back. And that’s extremely rewarding, I mean extremely rewarding to know that you can, um, have a...what do I want to say… that you can have an effect on somebody to that great of an extent. To actually, they’re dead here and two weeks later they come to your fire station and shake your hand.


Kurt Fansler remembers an unforgettable call in the middle of a snowstorm.

Credit Abigail Keel / KBIA
Kurt Fansler

We get to the residence and she’s got two sons that are sitting on the couch. And all they see is the big red fire truck and the guys come running in. They don’t know why we’re there, but mom’s in the bathroom and has just delivered a baby sister. So anyway we go in and clean up the baby and cut the umbilical cord and, I mean, it’s brand new life. It’s pretty cool.






Jennifer Kamp says firefighters share lots of stories about their work, and that sharing those stories is part therapy, and part a learning experience about the big things, and the little details that make a difference.

Credit Abigail Keel / KBIA
Jennifer Kamp

We do sit around and we tell stories and talk about things different people did on different calls. And that’s just how we kind of cope and not only learn, but we have to emotionally dump as well.

So telling stories amongst ourselves, and we all hear good stories of good things that other co-workers have done. And you’re like “Aw, that was an awesome thing to think of to go do.”

Sometimes it’s just little things of, you know, grabbing someone’s purse, or making sure their door is locked when we’re taking them out on a stretcher. Just little things like that. Where over time you just, you watch other people work and you pick up on just little things you can do.

Finally, Eric Cranmer told us that yes, firefighters save cats.

Credit Abigail Keel / KBIA
Eric Cranmer

We got to a house that was on fire, mostly the garage area, but had extended into the house a little bit.  And uh, the rest of the house was completely filled with smoke. And cats, they like to hide. And the crews just searched for them and ended up finding them in the couch.

Sara: And it can’t be easy to extract a cat from a couch when you’re in fire gear, right?

Haha right. Yeah, they make it difficult. You’d think they want to get right out. But they’re just as scared of us as they are the fire.

Fire Station No. 1

Abigail Keel is a senior student at the Missouri School of Journalism. She is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and grew up hating the drone of public radio in her parent's car. In high school, she had a job picking up trash in a park where she listened to podcasts for entertainment and made a permanent switch to public-radio lover. She's volunteered and interned for Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago, IL, and worked on the KBIA shows Faith and Values, Intersection and CoMO Explained.
Sara Shahriari is the assistant news director at KBIA-FM, and she holds a master's degree from the Missouri School of Journalism. Sara hosts and is executive producer of the PRNDI award-winning weekly public affairs talk show Intersection. She also works with many of KBIA’s talented student reporters and teaches an advanced radio reporting lab. She previously worked as a freelance journalist in Bolivia for six years, where she contributed print, radio and multimedia stories to outlets including Al Jazeera America, Bloomberg News, the Guardian, the Christian Science Monitor, Deutsche Welle and Indian Country Today. Sara’s work has focused on mental health, civic issues, women’s and children’s rights, policies affecting indigenous peoples and their lands and the environment. While earning her MA at the Missouri School of Journalism, Sara produced the weekly Spanish-language radio show Radio Adelante. Her work with the KBIA team has been recognized with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and PRNDI, among others, and she is a two-time recipient of funding from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.