Friday, February 28, 2014
Firefighter Andrew Carne, 23, of Summerville grew up in Erie, PA. He and seven of his friends and relatives emigrated from Erie to the Lowcountry, following each other.
“The first to come here, five years ago, was a friend who became a trooper,” Carne says. “Then another friend came down and joined a fire department, then my brother, then me. Seven of us are here in all, including my twin brother.”
Carne has been here since July, and with Summerville Fire Department the same amount of time.
He was a junior firefighter in Erie, he says, and he has stuck with it. “I love doing it.”
He is assigned to Engine 2, riding backwards at the rear of the truck.
He is trained as a firefighter 1 and has vehicle rescue (extrication) training, is an EMT-Basic, is trained in HazMat, ice rescue, swift water rescue, open water rescue, confined space rescue and trench rescue.
His worst experience, he says, was getting hurt back in Erie.
“We responded to a structure fire and the home owner’s care was in the driveway and a neighbor said the woman and her baby were in the house. We made entry to rescue the mother and child but had to dive out a second story window. Turns out they mother and child weren’t even there … they were in Las Vegas.”
That dive out the window sent him to rehab for six months to mend neck and wrist injuries. His fellow firefighter suffered back injuries.
His best and most memorable experience, so far, he says, was when he drove the engine for the first time in response to a fire. Again, in Erie, he says the call was for a 32-unit structure fire. “It was the second or third largest fire we had.”
Professionally, “I’d like to make captain … at least. But first, I just want to get off probation.”
He’s done nothing wrong. All newly employed firefighters are automatically on one-year’s probation.
“I have six more months!”
His living echoes his coming to South Carolina … “I live with a bunch of guys!”
He has no pets, he says, no serious romantic attachment and no kids.
He enjoys playing baseball. “I’m getting into the Summerville League soon.”
He likes to go to the gym, play golf and racquetball.
“I like watching hockey.”
He used to hunt and fish, he says, and is a huge movie watcher.
Ultimately, he says, he wants to start a family and have a good career.