By Kaila Lafferty, KATV:
A first responder’s job is to show up, when no one else can. “You can see so much stuff in such a short length of time, that it truly weighs on your heart and mind overtime,” explained Lt. Mozell Gipson, with Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services. He has been a firefighter for over twenty years, and in those twenty years, he has seen a lot. “I would say the bad outweighs the good, ten to one. But that one, like what happened last month, truly outweighs the all of the negative things,” said Lt. Gipson.
In early March, they were dispatched to a fire. “The call came in that it was an apartment fire, with a child inside,” he said. His crews arrived on scene and knocked down the flames. They then began their search, “We made one sweep, then made a second sweep, made a third sweep,” he said.
As the seconds ticked by, there was no sign of the child. In a moment of desperation Lt. Gipson asked the mother for any information she could give. “When she told me the child was two, that kind of changed the game, because you’re looking in much, much smaller areas,” he said.
Then, with one last strain of hope, they went back in and found her. She was wedged between a mattress and a wall. “My whole world just kind of stopped, here she is, and when I picked her up and felt her breath in and out, I thought ‘Oh my God, she’d still alive.'” Lt. Gipson could only think of one thing, “I have a three-year-old niece. That’s what ran through my mind,” he said.
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