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July 28, 2015

Injured volunteer fireman welcomed back to Marshall

Photos/Lawrence Emerson
Adam Glaze faces ”no issues with going back to school in the next couple of weeks,” his father says.
If not for the training, it could have been much worse. And, he was treated by a paramedic on the scene, which was great. They got him right to the ER, which was great.
— D.C. career firefighter Charlie Glaze on his son’s burns in a July 19 house fire
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His lower legs and left arm bandaged, the teenage volunteer firefighter received a hero’s homecoming Monday night in Marshall.

Adam Glaze, 16, smiled broadly as he descended from Wagon 3 to embrace his girlfriend just before 8 p.m.

Adam then worked the crowd, shaking hands with or hugging almost every one of the 80 people who turned out to greet him after a week in Washington MedStar Hospital Center’s burn unit.

A veteran professional firefighter, Charlie Glaze described his son as “pretty beat up” Sunday, July 19, and the next 24 hours. Adam suffered the worst burns of three firefighters injured battling an intense blaze in The Plains.

He underwent seven hours of surgery and skin grafts Wednesday, July 22.

But the strapping teenager looked good Monday night at the Marshall station, within walking distance of his family’s home.

“There are no issues with going back to school in the next couple of weeks,” Mr. Glaze said. “As far as returning to any type of firefighting, you’re probably looking at six or seven months from a physical standpoint.

“Emotionally, you don’t know . . . . There could be post-traumatic stress. I’ll be watching closely for that.”

The District of Columbia Fire Department lieutenant has worked with firefighters injured and killed in the line of duty.

“His training prevailed,” Mr. Glaze said of Adam’s preparation to fight his first fire.

Before signing the form allowing his son to work real fires, the 57-year-old watched the final test at Fauquier’s “burn building” near the landfill just south of Warrenton.

“I told Lt. (Matt) Shields, ‘That was the best training exercise I’ve ever seen’,” said Mr. Glaze, who had “two years to evaluate” his preparation before Adam climbed aboard an engine to answer a call.

That included Fauquier High School fire science classes and county training.

“If not for the training, it could have been much worse,” Mr. Glaze said. “And, he was treated by a paramedic on the scene, which was great. They got him right to the ER, which was great.”

The firefighting community, including the D.C. Firefighters Burn Foundation, immediately surrounded the Glaze family as an ambulance took Adam to MedStar on July 19.

“They were there before Adam arrived at MedStar,” Mr. Glaze said. “They put us up in a hotel and offered us anything we might need.

“There was a tremendous outpouring . . . . Food was overflowing the table.”

Sam Miller, president of Fauquier’s career firefighters union, immediately joined the Glazes at the hospital and volunteered to handle communications, giving the family its privacy.

“Saint Sam,” the grateful father calls Mr. Miller.

After the MedStar doctors finally released Adam early Monday evening, his fellow volunteers pulled away from the firehouse in Wagon 3 to meet him and his parents in Haymarket.

As the big fire truck approached Main Street on Winchester Road, the Glazes caught sight of friends and colleagues, some holding small American flags, lining Rectortown Road in front of the station.

Rhonda Glaze got teary.

“She’s been the strong one all along,” her husband said. “She’s been through breast cancer and now this . . . . I said, ‘Rhonda, this is great’.”

Marshall Volunteer Fire Chief Eddie Payne called it an “emotional” moment.

“This is just amazing to see, this many people out here,” Chief Payne said as the crowd surrounded Adam. “He’s a tremendous young man, and this is really nice. This really helps.”

An investigation will provide answers about events that led to three firefighters getting injured July 19.

But, Mr. Glaze said he hopes Adam’s experience will help other parents of teenagers drawn to emergency services understand and trust the quality of Fauquier’s system.
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