Crews in Florida worked hard to rescue people during Hurricane Ian last week and one St. Augustine firefighter could barely keep count of how many.
Hardus Oberholzer told First Coast News he took part in multiple rescues but they just kept racking up, the outlet reported Saturday.
More calls came in on Thursday evening as high tide encroached on residents’ driveways and spilled into their houses and there was one instance the father of two children will not soon forget.
A photo showed Oberholzer saving a frightened little girl during the worst part of high tide on Thursday.
“While these two images perfectly embody the essence of our mission, I have received dozens of first hand accounts of how helpful and present our firefighters have been,” the St. Augustine Fire Department Chief Carlos Aviles wrote in a social media post on Saturday:
The child’s family apparently thought they could ride it out but realized they needed help before the high tide approached in the darkness outside that night.
“She’ll have a little piece of my heart forever. It’s something in their eyes,” Oberholzer explained. “When they truly are at their worst, we show up and have to be at our best every time. Something I’ll remember for the rest of my life and I hope they do too.”
Meanwhile, Aviles heaped praise on the firefighters’ loved ones for supporting them when their community was in such dire need.
“I am truly blessed to serve such a dedicated group of professionals,” he wrote.
Read the full story here.
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