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Colleagues rally around injured firefighter

Posted at 6:40 PM, Feb 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-14 22:56:24-05
It was a quiet Sunday morning, January 24th, when a routine call came into Sanibel Fire Station 171, about an accident on the causeway.
 
"We went out there expecting it to be any other call.  Once we got there we realized it was one of our brothers," said firefighter Eddie Zarick.
 
That brother was 4-year-veteran Carl Johanson.  He was on his way into work when a vehicle driven by a 17-year-old crossed the center line and struck Carl's vehicle.
 
"There was a debris field, two tires in between the two cars," said Captain Bob Popkin, who was among those that responded.
 
Popkin struggled to keep his composure as he helped pry Johanson out of his vehicle.
 
"He said Cap' how bad is it?  I said a couple bumps and bruises.  He looked at me and he knew I was lying, but I was trying to keep his mind on something other than steel  being cut."
 
Carl's candor helped his brothers get through the ordeal, he was even cracking jokes.
 
"He's laughing and joking like he normally is, he's apologizing for us having to do work," said Zarick.
 
The Sanibel Fire Department launched a GoFundme account to help Carl buy a new car so he can get to work.  They've received contributions from Sanibel residents and firefighters in Ft. Myers.
 
Carl's recovery is expected to take 6 to 8 months.