‘Our people are the light’: Photo of Mont. FF reading book to child MVC survivor goes viral

Billings Firefighter Ryan Benton was photographed with the girl in his lap on the side of the road at the crash scene


By Rachel Engel

BILLINGS, Mont. — A candid moment between a firefighter and a pediatric patient has gone viral after a Billings responder was photographed reading a book to a small child who had just survived a car crash.  

Crews responded to the scene of a two-vehicle car crash on Sept. 29, FOX News reported. Allie Marie Schmalz, a bystander on the scene, snapped a photo of Firefighter Ryan Benton sitting in the road, reading a book to a little girl who had been involved in the crash.  

Schmalz shared the photo on Facebook with the caption, “Sweetest thing ever! This fireman is reading books to a little girl after being in an accident. First responders are amazing <3” 

In a statement to FOX, Billings Firefighters Media Coordinator Cameron Abell said, “Benton took it upon himself to read a story to the girl while her parents dealt with the accident,” which helped her calm down from the incident and offered her parents the chance to focus on the aftermath.  

“As this photo shows, our people are the light on a cold scary night,” Abell said. “They will be there for you when your darkest moment happens.” 

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