A salute to all our firefighters

A salute to all our firefighters

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“It’s just what I do.”

This quote might become famous one day as people look back at what Dan Skaros did to save a young boy’s life.

People who know Oliver’s fire chief will say he doesn’t pull any punches, but they will also note that he’s a modest guy with a soft spot.

Like most firemen, Skaros doesn’t accept the “hero” label very well. He’s part of an extremely dedicated group of people who respond to emergencies because they have this compulsion to help others in crises.

With that comes a huge responsibility and huge risks.

During the RV fire on August 28, Skaros not only had to find a way to rescue the Cody O’Connor, but ensure the safety of bystanders and those assisting him. He had to order people back because some were about to risk their lives by going inside the motorhome. That could have resulted in further tragedy.

Firemen know that you can’t enter a smoke-filled structure without protective equipment and expect to live. One lung full of toxic fumes will drop you in a second.

Although Skaros had no protective equipment with him, he had the training to know what to do, and the wits to keep himself safe. He certainly wasn’t going inside without breathing apparatus, so he followed his hunch that the boy was at the back of the motorhome, perhaps the furthest away from the heat.

Skaros used a simple dowel to feel the boy’s body to determine the location before reaching through the broken window to pull him out.

Everyone’s heart stopped for a moment when the limp child was passed to paramedic Dan Lyver who rushed him to an ambulance.

It was incredible.

Although Skaros wouldn’t agree, he is a hero in every sense of the word because he saved a life and risked his own doing it.

Skaros was initially reluctant to speak to the media, but his actions created so much attention that he didn’t want to disappoint people.

Firefighters do what they do not for the glory (sorry, no movie contracts), but for their strong sense of community and desire to help people in trouble.

“It’s just what I do.”

Cody needs our prayers now.

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