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Ga. firefighters honored for saving child

Lt. John Herpin entered a burning home, located a missing child and passed him through the window


Thomas Lynn
Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA, Ga. — Valdosta fire units were dispatched in April to a home on fire where they were told a child could not be found.

Valdosta Fire Department Lt. John Herpin entered the smoke-filled residence, located the boy and passed him through a window, saving his life. EMTs at the scene then treated the boy, who has since made a full recovery.

Lt. John Herpin (far right) said he was honored and humbled to have been selected for the award. (Photo/Valdosta Fire Department)
Lt. John Herpin (far right) said he was honored and humbled to have been selected for the award. (Photo/Valdosta Fire Department)

On Thursday, at a Valdosta City Council meeting, the council recognized Herpin, along with his fellow crew members, Jamie Sapp, Sgt. Isaac Harris and Cpl. Nick Bishop, for their bravery and for receiving the 2017 Life Saving Valor Award.

"We train our entire lives to do this job," Herpin said. "So, when we got to the front door of the structure and we heard the child inside screaming for help, I turned to my crew and I had complete faith in them."

The award is presented annually by the Georgia State Firefighters Association. It is given to fire personnel who perform meritorious acts that result in life-saving events. Herpin was presented this award in August during the 2017 Georgia Fire Service Conference, which was held in Athens.

Valdosta Fire Chief Freddie Broome said he was honored to have brave firefighters such as Herpin and all the members of the VFD who answer the call of duty to protect and serve the community.

"It is a great honor for our city, community and department knowing that Lt. Herpin was selected as a recipient of this year's valor award," Broome said.

Herpin said he was honored and humbled to have been selected for the award.

"On the night of April 20, 2017, my crew and I were able to accomplish what every firefighter dreams of, saving the life of a child from a fire," Herpin said. "With my crew effectively handling the fire attack, I was able to find and remove the child from the structure. I could not have made the decisions I made that night without trusting their ability to handle the fire attack."

Copyright 2017 Valdosta Daily Times

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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