4 CMS Airman saves young girl from fire

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SEYMOUR JOHNSON N.C.---The fight,flight or freeze or the fight-flight responses physiological reactions that occur in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. There are moments in life for each reaction, but what causes people to choose one over the other? For Tech. Sgt. Chad Jackson, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron dock chief, those instincts helped him save a life.
On March 30, 2022 at approximately 1 p.m., Jackson was headed back to work at Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base, when he noticed huge clouds of smoke coming from the next street over.
“I thought to myself, let me stop and check out the area just to make sure everything is okay because it's still my community.” said Jackson. “I pulled in there and that's when I saw the fire.”
He drove into a cul-de-sac and noticed a single wide trailer with flames coming from the front door, along with a neighbor standing by who had called 911.

Jackson then spoke with the neighbor who said he had not checked to see if anyone was inside.

Jackson ran from his car to the front door of the trailer and yelled, but was met with no response. Then, he went to the window next to the fire and hit it, slightly cracking it, hoping to get more sound into the house. Still no response. Finally, he went to the last window facing the road and repeatedly hit and yelled, again, listening for a response. It was then that he heard a crying voice coming from the backyard.

He ran to the back where he found a young girl on a trampoline about 20 feet from the house crying and upset.

“I have a son and daughter, and if they were in the same situation, I hope someone would do the same for them,'' said Jackson. “The first responders were not there yet. Nothing inside me said, I'm just going to wait and see if anyone shows up.”

Jackson identified himself to the girl and let her know he was there to help. He attempted multiple times to get her to leave the backyard, but she did not want to leave her dogs. At this point the smoke was very thick and was causing both of them to cough, so he ran to his car and grabbed a towel for her to cover her mouth with.

“I was worried about her,” said Jackson.

At that moment, the Mar-Mac Fire Department showed up and Jackson ran to move his car so as not to impede their duties. While the firefighters focused on the fire, Jackson quickly ran back to the girl. He grabbed the fence and tore it down to the ground so he could safely assist her away from the flames.

After emergency responders arrived on scene, Jackson directed them to the girl to ensure she was seen first. Medical personnel then checked Jackson and cleared him before he made his way back to work.

“You can only trust in what you're capable of doing,” said Jackson. “I did what anyone would have done in that situation. I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time. I don't want to be seen as a hero for this, but I did make that little girl’s day. She came up and hugged me afterwards. That was the main part just making sure someone else was okay.”