HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Each month, we’re recognizing the extraordinary people in our community that step up in times of trouble for our “13 Gives Back Award.”
This month’s 13 Gives Back recipient is the Huntington Fire Department.
The men and women of the Huntington Fire Department work day in and day out to keep the community safe. In August, just as our 13 News crews were arriving at an 18 unit apartment building fire on First Avenue, firefighters had just finished making a sweep to make sure everyone inside got out safely. That included the rescue of a man, Howard Chandler, who was trapped upstairs.
“You couldn’t see and the hall was completely black, so you couldn’t see how to get out so I went to the window and said please come and help me or I was going to jump out the window,” Chandler told 13 News at the scene.
Luckily, department members were able to get a ladder to Chandler and rescue him from the burning building.
And just a month before that, crews made another huge rescue. This time they saved a family of three and their large dog from the roof of their burning home in the early morning hours of July 27, with one family safe, their work still was not done.
“These guys fought another fire two hours before this one and came back out to fight this one,” Huntington Fire Department Captain Scott Ramey said the day of the fires.
It is simple why we want to give back and recognize a department that just in one day shows more bravery and selflessness than some of us will ever see in a lifetime.
“You just try to get them out as fast as you can and get them out as quick as possible,” said Huntington Fire Department Captain Chad Hendrick. “These guys are great. They know their job and they don’t take long with them.”
“We have to do a lot of training, and it’s great to work with guys that know what you expect when you arrive on scene,” Huntington Fire Department Captain John Nicholas.
WOWK 13 News partners with West Virginia American Water to present the award. West Virginia American Water representative Megan Hannah said it was an honor to recognize the Huntington Fire Department.
I’m thrilled to be here today,” Hannah said. “These men and women are extrordinary and we’re so honored.”
Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader said she is proud of the work department members selflessly do each day.
“These gentlemen are amazing. Every time they get on a fire truck they are risking their lives for others, people they don’t even know, and they do it selflessly day in and day out,” Rader said.”And I’m so incredibly proud of them, what they do every day.”
You can nominate an organization for the 13 Gives Back Award on our website.