From The Jefferson County Journal staff reports
TARANT — Tarrant Firefighter and Trussville resident Lt. Jerry Presley was critically injured while fighting a fire over the weekend. In the days since, his medical bills have been growing and a Go Fund Me page has been set up to help this man and his family.
According to officials, during the early morning hours of Sunday, the Tarrant Fire Department responded to a fully involved house fire on Woodrow Drive. Shortly after came the call that no emergency worker wants to hear: “Fireman down.” Presley fell between 10 and 12 feet from a ladder while fighting the blaze and was very seriously injured. He was rushed to UAB via ambulance where he remains in critical condition,
Presley suffered a C-3/C-4 spinal injury, brain trauma, and an arterial injury in the neck.
“He is being medicated right now to keep him sedated so that the swelling in his brain and the intercranial pressure will cease to exist and go down and quit,” Fultondale Fire Chief Jason Rickles said. “He’s facing a surgery for a C-3/C-4 injury, it’s a compression injury, to go in there and relieve some compression issues on the central spinal cord.”
“Because of the fall, he had some arterial damage to the main arteries that supply blood flow to the brain stem,” Rickles said. “The doctors believe that interruption of blood flow from the artery damage caused two small strokes. One in the left side and one in the right side of his lower brain.”
Rickles said that Presley hired on with the Tarrant Fire Department in March of 2001 and that Presley has a son who graduated from Hewitt-Trussville circa 2017 and is now a college football player at Murray State. He also has a daughter who plays volley ball at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School and another son who lives in West Point, Georgia.
Rickles listed a few things that the community can do to help Presley.
“There is a Go Fund Me account set up for Lt. Jerry Presley,” Rickles said. “For people that don’t like Go Fund Me, they can drop off donations at our fire station…prayers are the number one thing that we request and that we covet.”
Those wanting to donate to Lt. Jerry Presley’s Go Fund Me page may do so here.
Those wanting to donate at the Fultondale Fire Station may bring donations to 2593 Commerce Circle in Tarrant.