Tallahassee Firefighter Returns To Work

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Updated By: Emily Johnson
February 6, 2014

The Tallahassee Firefighter who had to be revived by his fellow firemen returned to work today.

Firefighter Steve Box was completing an annual agility training exercise back on November 14, 2014.

Box was climbing stairs at the firefighter training tower when he suffered a heart attack.

His fellow firefighters immediately came to his aid.

"It's a wake up call. You start to take care of yourself a little more than you did before, but feel good. It's been about three months in the making. I'm ready," said Box.

Firefighter Box says he still can't thank his fellow firemen enough for saving his life.

By: Emily Johnson
November 21, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - "I was on the very last leg going up the tower between the third and fourth floor and that's all I remember," said Steve Box, Tallahassee Fire Fighter Engineer.

Fire Fighter Box was completing an agility training exercise last Thursday at Fire State 4 when his heart gave out on him. It was then that his colleagues stepped in and did what they have been trained to do-- save lives. "It really hits home when you come up on a friend that's in trouble. The stress level, the pressure was through the roof, but we all got through it together and everyone did their part," said Mark Genter, Fire Fighter Engineer/Paramedic.

It was within minutes from Fire Fighter Box was able to receive treatment on-site. "For a call it takes us eight, nine or 10 minutes to respond. He had it less than a minute. He had people, equipment and everything there for him, it was perfect," said Dan Pruitt, Fire Fighter Paramedic. Fire Fighter Box was able to receive rapid treatment because Fire State 4 is equipped with an Advanced Life Support system. The fire fighters on hand made a make shift trauma center in the training center to support Box before he was picked up by Leon County EMS. "I can't say enough words to thank them guys. I'll never for get them. They're always in my hear," said Fire Fighter Box.

News Release: Tallahassee Fire Department

Tallahassee, FL -- Tallahassee firefighters respond to nearly 12,000 medical emergencies each year throughout our community. Our emergency medical technicians and paramedics are well trained and prepared for any type of emergency involving any type of patient. Last week, the Tallahassee Fire Department was put to the test both emotionally and professionally as it would have to rush to save one of its own firefighters.

At around 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 14, 2013, Firefighter Steve Box was participating in a firefighter physical fitness evolution at the TFD training grounds, located at 2964 Municipal Way. FF Box was dressed in a firefighter coat, helmet and air pack as he made his way through the course. As FF Box was making his way up the five story training tower he suddenly became unconscious. Firefighters who were escorting FF Box through the evolution, rushed to his aid and quickly determined that he was in cardiac arrest and was not breathing.

Firefighters quickly moved FF Box inside the training tower and began CPR. More than seven firefighter/paramedics were at the scene and began administering advanced life support and delivering several shocks with a defibrillator.

Leon County EMS arrived at the scene and FF Box was loaded for transport to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital with firefighters riding along with the ambulance crews to assist. FF Box did become responsive after several shocks in the ambulance and was opening his eyes as the unit arrived at TMH.

Once at TMH, FF Box was rushed to the care of doctors and medical staff where he was quickly taken to surgery for further treatment. It was determined that FF Box suffered a heart attack due to arterial blockage resulting in him going into cardiac arrest. Within just several hours of his surgery, FF Box was able to receive visitors to his hospital room. Those visitors were Tallahassee firefighters, some of whom were the same ones who played a role in saving his life.

FF Box and his family were able to speak with them and share their tremendous gratitude for the compassion and professionalism shown that day. In addition to the outstanding patient care provided by TMH, the Tallahassee Fire Department was simply amazed at the level of support, compassion and humanity that was demonstrated by everyone around the incident.

“I truly wish I had the opportunity to gather everyone’s name who provided FF Box, his family and our department with support so that I could thank them personally,” said Interim Fire Chief Wes Roberts. “From the bottom of my heart, I want everyone to know how much we appreciate and admire the support from our professional colleagues and the Tallahassee community.” If it wasn’t for the quick action and skill of FF Box’s fellow coworkers that afternoon, the outcome may have been altogether different.

Steve Box is currently resting at his home and is expected to make a full recovery. Steve is an eight-year veteran of the Tallahassee Fire Department and currently serves in the rank of Fire Engineer. Steve Box is also a certified Florida Paramedic.

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