Birmingham firefighter remains in ICU

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Update: Lieutenant Johnson is still at UAB hospital under heavy sedation.

They’ve moved him onto a special bed that can move him to his stomach and that allows blood flow and air flow to the back part of his lungs.

An upcoming prayer vigil is planned for Lieutenant Johnson.

Original: A local firefighter remains in an intensive care unit after being injured battling a fire on Friday.

Lt. Andrew Johnson remains at UAB Hospital four days after injuring his lungs and airway. There was some sort of malfunction with his breathing equipment.

Lt. Johnson works with Birmingham Fire and Warrior Fire. He’s been with Warrior since he was 13 years old. He started off as a cub scout explorer and the nickname “Cubby” stuck with him ever since.

His fellow firefighters say it’s been a tough recovery, but that the past 24 hours have shown signs of progress.

Clay Neely, Warrior Fire Chief said, “It’s going to be a long recovery for him. Right now, just playing the waiting game to get him out of intensive care and start that process. But right now, his firefighter family is taking care of him.”

The doctors started to ease him out of being completely sedated, but had to put Andrew back on a paralytic for his safety. They say that they feel it is the best thing to do for his lungs to heal. They were also able to start flushing out the soot and fluids in his lungs.

They report when Andrew comes off the sedation, his body wants to work harder than it needs to, causing his vitals to go up and not allow his lungs to heal properly.

His fellow firefighters are also stepping up to make sure his shifts are covered to help his wife and kids.

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