Fire Lieutenant William Ervin Appel, Firefighter/Paramedic Andrew Charles Neff,
Firefighter/Paramedic Michael Scott Chellis, and Firefighter/EMT Timothy Allen Wisely
Fire Department, City of Maplewood, MO
On July 21, 2008, Lieutenant William Appel, Firefighters Ryan Hummert, Timothy Wisely, Michael Chellis, and Andrew Neff were dispatched to a reported vehicle fire. When they arrived, they found a small pick-up truck engulfed in flames in the driveway of a house. As Firefighters Hummert and Wisely advanced a hose toward the burning vehicle, there was a loud explosion and Firefighter Hummert fell to the ground. Firefighter Wisely began medical treatment of Firefighter Hummert and quickly saw that he had been shot in the head. Firefighter Neff ran to assist Firefighter Wisely in treating Firefighter Hummert. None of the firefighters knew the location of the gunman and while waiting for an ambulance, there was another gunshot. This time it was Maplewood Police Officer Adam Fite who had been shot. Firefighter Neff administered emergency medical treatment to Officer Fite while they both were still in the line of fire. Ultimately, Firefighter Neff was able to drag Officer Fite to safety and stayed with him until the ambulance arrived. When Lt. Appel realized where the gun shots were coming from, he directed the firefighters to take cover. Unfortunately, Firefighter Hummert had sustained a mortal injury and Firefighter Wisely, who didn't want to leave him, was moved out of the line of fire by Lt. Appel and Firefighter Chellis. Throughout the incident, Lt. Appel provided key information to the command staff until the St. Louis County Police Department Tactical Team arrived and removed the firefighters in an armored vehicle.