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Layton firefighter suffers severe injuries during SWAT exercise

Posted at 5:59 PM, Aug 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-03 21:32:13-04

LAYTON, Utah — A Layton firefighter is recovering after being severely injured during a SWAT training in Ogden Monday.

A thumbs up and a wave is the only way Brian Cunningham can communicate right now, according to his friend, Ruth Crawmer.

"It was just such a freak accident," says Crawmer.

Ogden Police say he was doing a routine SWAT training exercise in Ogden on Monday and was trying to breach a door or force it open, often involving the use of mechanical or ballistic tools.

"They were just training on breaching and there was an explosion," says Crawmer.

He was rushed to IMC to have emergency surgery.

"He had a cut from right about here on his face to all the way down just above the shoulder blade," says Crawmer.

He also broke his jaw so he won't be able to talk for weeks, but it will be months before he's able to get back to work as a firefighter.

"With the fire department you have to have a mask fit and seal really good to your face," says Crawmer.

It really hit home for Crawmer whose husband and son work with Cunningham at the Layton Fire Department.

I looked at my husband and just lost it. Just cried. With having a husband and a son work at the fire department full time I tell everybody I feel like I’m under a double whammy," says Crawmer.

She immediately set up a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise enough money to relieve some of the financial stress for Cunningham and his new wife, Mariah.

"I want Mariah to be at the hospital as long as she wants to. Being his wife she should be able to say I’m not leaving this building until he walks out with me too. I just wanted to do something where they didn’t have to worry about anything but themselves and his healing," says Crawmer.

Crawmer says it's the least she can do for one of our local heroes, willing to put their vies on the line for our safety.

"When everybody else is running out and they’re the ones running in without a thought for themselves or their families why not give back," says Crawmer.

Ogden Police are still investigating to determine exactly what went wrong during the training exercise.

To donate to the gofundme page, click here.