Elkridge, MD (January 4, 2018) – A home healthcare nurse from MedStar Visiting Nurse Association is being hailed a hero for saving the lives of a family trapped inside a house fire in south Baltimore.
Heather Fitzhugh-Boehm, RN, was leaving her patient’s home when she noticed thick, black smoke in the sky nearby. The smoke was coming from a fire inside a row house, where a mother, baby, and teenager were trapped on the second floor. Fitzhugh-Boehm immediately called 9-1-1 and then ran to help.
The mother screamed for someone below to catch her baby. Fitzhugh-Boehm instructed her to throw down a blanket first, which she and a neighbor used to catch the baby, unharmed. The male teenager jumped from the second floor window to escape, and the fire department arrived just in time to rescue the mother. The fire engulfed the building almost immediately after the rescue.
Thanks to Fitzhugh-Boehm's quick thinking and her willingness to act, the entire family made it out safely. Surprisingly, Fitzhugh-Boehm was ready to return to work right after the incident. “Once my adrenaline stopped pumping, I wanted to continue my day and visit the rest of my patients,” she said. “I left as soon as help arrived and called the office to tell them what happened. I assured the office that I was good to go, despite my clothes smelling a little smoky.”
“We are grateful for nurses like Heather who are not only dedicated to their patients but also to the communities they serve,” added MedStar VNA President Traci Anderson. “Our homecare team members must be quick thinkers and be very attentive to their surroundings. This story shows how valuable those skills are. We often say that our team members are heroes and lifesavers. Heather’s actions demonstrate the truth in that statement.”
About MedStar Visiting Nurse Association
MedStar VNA is a nonprofit, Joint Commission accredited, in-home healthcare provider that offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services for homebound, disabled and chronically ill patients in the Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia region. To support good health in the community, MedStar VNA offers vaccination and wellness programs across the region. For more information about MedStar VNA, call 800-862-2166 or visit medstarvna.org.