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Angels in our Midst (LT Cliff Ragsdale)
Firefighters and law enforcement officers take an oath to protect and to serve.
It is often the little things they do above and beyond the call of duty that go unnoticed.
Recently, the Trauma Intervention Program honored several of these protectors for doing more than the job.
One of the honorees was LT. Cliff Ragsdale of the Pensacola Fire Department.
LT. Cliff Ragsdale, Pensacola Fire Department; "We got a call in. It was a structure fire with possible entrapment."
Lieutenant Cliff Ragsdale was on the crew that answered that call in the early morning hours of February 6th, 2012.
Lt. Ragsdale; "I have a five year old. And, you know, when we hear children of any type involved in any situation, it amps up everything, all your emotions, everything, and multiplies it times a hundred, a thousand."
Laurie Ford, Trauma Intervention Volunteer; "You see these big strong firefighters; very muscular, big; and you don't realize that they have a big heart, too."
Laurie Ford was the Trauma Intervention Volunteer who was also on that call. She was there to give comfort to the family but found herself being comforted over the deaths of eight and ten year old sisters.
Laurie Ford; "All's I could see was his eyes because he had his helmet on. So, I didn't even know who he was, but what he said, the heart that he had that night when he told the mom."
Laurie; "He knelt down in front of her and looked her right in the eyes and he put his hand on her shoulder ..."
Laurie; "And that gentle voice. He was so calm with all the sirens and all the water running down the streets and all the chaos."
Laurie; "He said, 'Mama, we did everything we could. We tried. We did everything we could but we couldn't save your babies.'"
Lt. Ragsdale; "If my mom was in that situation or my grandmother or someone that I know, I would pray that someone would take that same kind of consideration."
Lt. Ragsdale; "I don't know how much it actually helped her in that moment, but I just wanted to let her know that we care; that we're people, too. We're firemen, but we care."
And it is those moments, even when words may fail, it is simply that act of kindness that will long be remembered. For Lieutenant Ragsdale, those acts of kindness are second nature.
Deanna Smith, Trauma Intervention Crisis Team Mgr.; "This little boy, the house was burned out, the firemen were still working on it. And he told me, I'm really getting cold. So, I told him, Hold on just a moment, let me run to my car."
Before Deanna Smith could get back with a blanket, Cliff had also noticed a little boy shivering on the side of the street.
Deanna; "You don't want this blanket any more do you? He said, 'No, I'm good.' And it was so heartwarming because he was exactly where he needed to be with that jacket on."
Lt. Ragsdale; "It's rewarding. It's rewarding It's a rewarding job."
Laurie; "He's got that big heart and to me, he was my hero that night."
Angels in our Midst is brought to you by Sacred Heart Children's Hospital.