I got the email yesterday while cooking dinner. It was the usual daily email about overtime available on the ambulances the next day, but the subject line caught my eye immediately:
“Escort Bryan Stow to SFGH – Need volunteers.”
The phone flew into my hand.
Representatives from Santa Clara American Medical Response (AMR), San Francisco AMR and the San Francisco Fire Department EMS Division came together to give Bryan a proper ride to his new temporary residence at San Francisco General Hospital today, May 16th.
The plane left Los Angeles and touched down at San Francisco International Airport just after 1pm and the AMR Critical Care Transport Team was ready, as were Bryan’s ex-wife and his cousin, both of whom have been visiting Bryan since the incident at Dodger Stadium in April when he was attacked for wearing a San Francisco Giant’s jersey.
Due to the short notice we were unable to get the FRN cameras to join us, but it was an amazing experience. When the plane landed and the CCT unit was allowed through security we all stood a little taller. When the airplane door opened you could have heard a pin drop (if you filtered out the 747’s departing close by for exotic locales unknown) and when Bryan was lifted out and onto the cot on solid ground I heard more than one person whisper “Welcome home.”
From there the CCT unit, Bryan’s regular ambulance from Santa Clara and the supervisor’s unit pulled out of the airport parking lot and the SFFD led the way.
Members from Station 49, the SFFD EMS Division, all off duty, lit up Medic 54 and cleared the way for what one local TV station called a “mini caravan.” Closely following were Bryan’s family, the San Francisco AMR rig, and my unit Medic 94. Following up in the end was on-duty EMS Supervisor Rescue Captain 3, whose first due area includes the Airport.
We have seen a motorcade and escort in gloomier times, when friends are no longer with us and to be part of a positive escort was uplifting. Seeing cars yield to a long line of EMS vehicles was striking.
Not one fire engine.
Not one police cruiser or bike.
Just EMS folks helping a brother home.
There were numerous helicopters filming us on the freeway, but I have yet to see any of that footage. I would like to see it from the air, I think Bryan would love it. And one day I hope to meet him.
Don’t forget you can still donate to support Bryan and his family by visiting Support4Stow.
Video from KIONtv reporter Azenith Smith: