Two Lackawanna Firefighters Subdue Armed Man

April 23, 2012 Updated Apr 23, 2012 at 11:39 PM EDT

By John Borsa

April 23, 2012 Updated Apr 23, 2012 at 11:39 PM EDT

LACKAWANNA, NY (WKBW) - Firefighters risk their lives everyday running into burning buildings and putting themselves in situations that few of us would ever consider.

But nothing could prepare two Lackawanna firefighters for the life and death situation they faced Monday afternoon.

Ron Shul and Rick Chmielowiec have a combined 32 years of experience working for the Lackawanna Fire Department.

And they thought they had seen it all.

"We're pretty seasoned guys and never came across a situation like this," Shul said.

It started with a call from an apartment for a diabetic man with a history of alcohol abuse in need of medical attention.

The firefighters responded to Dorrance Avenue and found a visiting nurse outside the home, while another nurse and a Rural Metro Ambulance paramedic were inside.

"Rick started to interview [the patient]," said Shul. "During the interview process the question was asked about his alcohol use today and he said, 'I'll show you how much alcohol I drank today.'"

What happened next stunned the two firefighters.

"He went behind the bedroom door and grabbed a rifle," Chmielowiec said.

"Very scary," said Shul. "I have never had a gun pointed at me before."

With all five people staring down the barrel of a shotgun, Chmielowiec said he moved up against the wall and slowly walked around towards the back of the distraught man.

"He didn't know I was there so I took him down," said Chmielowiec. "Ron was about to get the weapon out of his hands."

Police were called and the man was taken into custody.

No word if he will face any charges. No one was hurt.