Texas EMT Recalls Final Moments with Fallen Classmates

Chupik was in class with many of the firefighters moments before the plant fire

 

 
 
 

MATT HOWERTON, KWTX.com | | Tuesday, April 30, 2013


WEST, Texas (KWTX.com) - As the City of West continues to bury its fallen first responders, more information is surfacing about where some of those heroes were when they were called out to their final fire.

Jerry Chapman, Kevin Sanders, Perry Calvin and Cyrus Reed were all training at the West EMS center when the West Fertilizer Co. caught fire.

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Chapman, Sanders, Calvin, and Reed had been training to receive their EMT certification since November 2012.

Many of their classes were held at the West EMS Center, which sits about five football fields away from the West Fertilizer Co.

For 18-year-old Brittany Chupik, a fellow classmate, it was the beginning of a chaotic evening when the plant caught fire.

"Cyrus, Perry, and Jerry all loaded up into Cyrus' truck and headed out to the fire because they were all firemen. Kevin ended up going in the medic tube because he was doing his first ride out," Chupik said.

"I thought they were going to go save the day."
Chupik geared up to go on scene, but the plant exploded while she was loading up.

She was then evacuated and led triage at the West Community Center for hours.

When the dust settled, Chupik received a call saying her four classmates were killed.

"It was the worst phone call ever when I found out Cyrus was dead.

We became close friends since our class began," Chupik said.

"The last thing he said to me was 'I need to tell you something later outside.' Not knowing what he was going to say is something I think about every day."

Chupik never thought her friends were heading to their deaths, yet she says they responded to their final fire with bravery and courage.

"There were no goodbyes, no nothing," Chupik said.

"They were going to save our lives just like any other firemen would do."

Chupik's EMT class was supposed to graduate on Monday. The graduation has been postponed due to the explosion.

Four heroes won't be in attendance; however Chupik says they'll be watching over her for the rest of her life.

"I know those guys are going to be there in heaven watching us, and they're going to protect us in everything they do."




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Related Topics: News, Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion

 
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