Jeff Gillespie can't pinpoint exactly when blood stopped flowing to his brain.

The veteran Poudre Fire Authority firefighter doesn't know exactly how long he stopped breathing, either. It's impossible to say precisely how long his world went black that November afternoon when he was essentially hanged during a training accident.

Gillespie went to work Nov. 19, 2016, and played the role of a victim for a practice emergency on the outskirts of Fort Collins. Then he became a victim in real life.

In the seven months since that confined space rescue training, investigators have attributed missteps that nearly killed Gillespie to failures of both communication and protocol. Those factors, combined with trainees' unfamiliarity with a piece of rescue equipment used, prompted PFA officials to issue numerous policy changes meant to keep incidents like the one that injured Gillespie from happening again.

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