HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) — Three Hilton Head firemen are being recognized as heroes but to them, it’s just what’s expected.
“It’s just part of the job. We didn’t sign up for this job to be considered heroes,” said Lt. Sean Kavlick, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue.
Last September they went to a call at a three-story house and found it engulfed in flames. There were three people inside who needed help, so they rushed into action.
“You don’t think. It’s just something that we’ve all trained for. For that morning it was very clear to us that we had to enter the house and see if we can find the people that were trapped,” said Fire Apparatus Operator Brendan Horlbeck, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue.
Two people were saved but one tragically died.
The firefighters say a house fire like that is like nothing they’ve ever seen and probably won’t see again.
The International Association of Fire Chiefs crowned them with the Ben Franklin Award for Valor. The association awarded them for their courageous jump to action. They said joining the group of firefighters who’ve also won that award is a good feeling.
“To be in a conversation with those individuals is exciting. Very humbling at the same time,” said Battalion Chief David Bell, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue. “You know, everything that we do, we kind of encompass into part of the job. And to be recognized on a much larger scale for the things that we have done is humbling.”
They said being recognized is good but knowing that they were able to save someone’s life, to see her again, to give that woman a second chance at life, means even more.
“Meeting her in person was a whole different set of emotions, because now the last time you saw that person, for lack of a better term, they they weren’t alive,” Bell said. “And then to be reunited with them where they’ve made a recovery, where they are, there’s nothing that they can’t do anymore. And basically a new take on life. Then it really drives home why we do what we do and the intrinsic values of what we do.”