Hurricane Florence destroyed many homes, lives and property. Although it has been weeks many first responders are still involved in the clean-up. This picture hit me hard. We hear about tragedy and homes destroyed and even deaths, but for me at least, this picture brought it close to home and my heart. Firefighters and rescue crews stopped to pray after they discovered a mother and her eight-month-old infant were killed by a fallen tree.
The mother, child and father were trapped inside the house for several hours before rescuers could reach them. The father was transported to the hospital. Despite the valiant efforts of many first responders, the mother and infant could not be saved.
You always think something could have been done. Could have gotten there sooner, more and better equipment. But sometimes it just happens and the only thing left to do is pray.
A close friend of mine was with an ambulance EMS team years ago. He pulled a small baby out of a burning house and rushed the baby to the hospital. The doctors worked on the infant but told my friend that it was too late, he’s gone. Angrily my friend cried out, “no way. He’s still warm. Keep trying I tell you. Don’t give up!” The doctor was patient but my friend demanded he do more. The doctor replied that the baby was gone. “But he’s still warm,” my friend said. The doctor said the baby had been lying next to a radiator and that was why he was still warm.
My friend went home and was greeted by his wife with the usual, “how was your day?” “You don’t want to know,” he replied. “I can’t talk about it.” And it was a long time before he did.
To all first responders, you are a special breed. Every day you encounter tragedy and destruction. As I write this many of you are still participating in hurricane clean up.
Carolina’s first responders, the brave men and women in fire, rescue and EMS — the Carolinas thank you and God bless you all for what you do.