This idea of service before self...and sacrifice as a way of life is something ingrained in firefighters. This really takes it to a new level though. Maybe I'm crazy, but hearing about shootings in public places has had me wonder how I would respond if I were there. My thoughts typically focus on staying safe and keeping my kids and family safe.
Last weekend at a high school football game in New Jersey, a gunman opened fire. Tragically a 10 year old boy was caught in the crossfire and was shot in the neck. Instead of ducking for cover or staying with his own family, Julio Sanchez Jr, a firefighter of 19 years (also a veteran!) ran toward the boy saving this boy's life. Not surprisingly, when he got to the injured boy there were a few retired firefighters trying to help him. Sanchez grabbed a stretcher, performed CPR, and then drove the ambulance to the nearest trauma center.
Because of these firefighters (Ernest Alexander Jr is another firefighter who was involved), their quick actions, training, and ultimately their willingness to help others needing help instead of focusing on their own safety, this boy is recovering with his family.
Thank you to all those who serve and protect, who train and perfect their technique, who run towards the danger instead of running away.