Firefighters react: "Man shot was brave"

Lindsey Theis

Firefighters react: "Man shot was brave"

CREATED Jul. 1, 2013 - UPDATED: Jul. 2, 2013

Omaha, NE-Police say the man shot in the back of an ambulance was released from Nebraska Medical Center Monday night.

Firefighter Union President Steve LeClair says he is doing well, and is with his family. He also says this could have been more tragic if it wasn't for his quick thinking.

"It's really a matter of centimeters. When you're dealing with a combative patient Or someone who is intent on doing you harm, there's not a lot of room to maneuver here. And it really becomes an unsafe situation in a real hurry," LeClair said.

Fire Chief Mike McDonnell, Assistant Chief Dan Stolinski, Mayor Jean Stothert, and LeClair were among those who stopped by the hospital to visit the firefighter.

Stolinski says the firefighter/EMT was dispatched to 48th and L for a woman in police custody who had a seizure. When that woman was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital for treatment, Stolinksi says the firefighter suffered a gunshot to the abdomen.

"We are so thankful and he is very lucky," Stolinski said by phone Monday night.

A female EMT, who was driving the ambulance, was also relieved Monday night. In total, 8 firefighters and 3 officers responded to the "help a firefighter" call.

Stolinski says the fire department and city will also provide all of those involved critical incident stress counseling.

Tonight, very few details are being released about the firefighter shot. The department is trying to give him and his family time to heal. We do know he's a 10 year veteran of the Omaha fire department. He is stationed at fire station number 5 in south Omaha. And he's a quick thinker.

"Really just a Tragedy adverted really through his quick and decisive actions in the back of that ambulance," LeClair said.