Alumnus injured in California

Andy Goodson to undergo surgery after fighting fire

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Fireman and Oak Park High School alumnus Andy Goodson was severely injured while fighting the Santa Cruz Bear Fire Oct. 15.

Goodson graduated from OPHS in 2013 and has since become a fireman in Santa Clara. Goodson’s crew, Force 41 –– which comprises a captain, an engineer and six firefighters –– were dispatched Sunday, Oct. 15 at 11:30 p.m. to fight the Bear Fire in Santa Cruz.

“[The fire was] located in the Santa Cruz mountains which is very steep terrain. They were fighting the fire and a little bit of the fires were going across the side of the hill and got behind them,” Battalion Chief Nick Ciaradella said. “As they were going down away from the fire, one of the firefighters slipped and fell down the hill. [Goodson] went to go check the person that fell and he fell himself about 70 feet.”

Goodson’s crew and other firefighters from separate crews, some who were injured fighting the fire as well, rescued and transported him to Stanford Hospital, where Goodson was placed in the Intensive Care Unit.

“After [Goodson] fell, [his crew] still had to get him out because of his broken wrist and everything else,” Ciardella said. “So, his crew, along with some other people, worked on getting him out. There were [also] some other people that were injured with a broken hand, a broken elbow and a twisted knee [who helped Goodson as well].”

Goodson was released from the Intensive Care Unit Wednesday, Oct. 18 after undergoing a surgery to fix his broken wrist, but is currently still in the hospital healing from other injuries. He is scheduled for a facial reconstructive surgery Monday, Oct. 23 to reconstruct his jaw and facial bones.

“[The doctors] have to wait now for the swelling to go down in his face before they can do the facial surgeries for the fractures and stuff he has in his face and his jaw,” Ciardella said.

According to Ciardella, Goodson’s injuries are substantial and he will not be working for the rest of this fire season. He is hoping for Goodson to return to work in May 2018

“[Goodson] faces a lot of recovery time and he’s going to be off work. He’s drawing from his inner strength and I think that’s going to get him through,” Goodson’s mother, Lisa Goodson, said. “He has a lot of support from the firefighters, his friends, his family, the Oak Park community, so all that is going to help him recover.”

Andy Goodson always wanted to have a profession that involved giving back to people, according to Lisa Goodson.

“He always wanted to do something greater than himself and he was interested in serving in the military and becoming a firefighter,” Lisa Goodson said. “He chose to be a firefighter [in order to] be involved in something greater than himself to help his community.”

Instructional assistant Susan Shiney had a close connection with Goodson and was shocked to hear what happened.

“It was alarming [to read what happened to him]. I’m just hoping he’s going to bounce back and he’s going to be okay and all the friends –– the firefighters –– that were with him. God bless them for saving him and they all got hurt too,” Shiney said.

According to Shiney, Goodson is a dedicated man who always wanted to be a fireman.

“I would want Andy to

be helping me in a fire,” Shiney said. “I know he would be very level-headed and strong and calming. We’re all praying for him.”

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