Heroes and Holidays
Kirk immediately slammed on his brakes, put his truck into park, and jumped out. Cars slowed as their drivers gawked at the crash or zoomed by as their drivers were unconcerned with what happened. None noticed Kirk waiting for his moment. Finally, enough space cleared in the slowing traffic, so he bolted across the multi-lane highway and hopped the divider.
The SUV was on its side. Inside were Codee Cardoza and her two small children. She directed Kirk to help them first. As he noticed small flames burning near the car, he rushed to free 2 year old Ethan. Since Kirk doesn't have kids of his own, the boy's car seat was a mystery. As he rushed to figure it out, he yelled, "I can smell gas. Someone please help."
To his surprise, two other men had stopped and freed 9 year old Paiden. Now only Codee remained in the SUV, which the flames had begun creeping up. She had unbuckled her seat belt, but was unable to get out the passenger, so Kirk did what any friendly neighborhood superhero would do. He jumped on top of the car, grabbed Codee's belt loop, and pulled her out by it. The two other men caught the mother, and the three and Kirk ran from the SUV. Seconds later it was engulfed in flames.
His thoughts turned to his father-in-law, a first responder how had died two weeks earlier. Kirk could only point to inspiration from the man as explanation for his actions. "I can't believe what I did. I almost need to see video of it," he told us.
He was amazed at the timing too, considering his typical work day. He noted, "With our schedules, I could've been sent in any direction." And he was. Minutes later Kirk was back in his truck on his way to Fresno for his next assignment.
He had a job to do.
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