The Belington Volunteer Fire Department had just finished a big fundraiser, and Hart was at home getting ready for dinner when his pager went off, and he hopped in his car and headed to the fire.
“I got to the door, there was heavy smoke there, and there was an individual on the porch. I asked him if anyone was in there, and he said yeah. He told me basically where she was at. I got as low as I could under the smoke, and I could hear her saying help me help me,” he said.
The woman was paralyzed from the waist down and would not have been able to make it out without the chief’s assistance. Hart and the woman were flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital for their injuries.
“I made the decision to go in and get her, and everything worked out for her and for me and maybe right now you look back and and it may not have been the wisest decision, but at that point in time, it was the only decision and the right decision,” Hart explained.
On Monday, Bridgeport City Council recognized Hart’s heroics with a life saving award.
Hart told me he was grateful for the recognition and his team at the Bridgeport Fire Department that stepped up when he was out during the month of March.
This award comes after the announcement that the Southeastern division of fire chiefs named Hart “Fire Chief of the Year.”
“Not only an honor but a great surprise to me because they kept it very, very quiet,” Hart said.
He was nominated for the award by colleagues and friends and couldn’t believe that so many people had kept that secret.
Hart added that the thanks goes further than just his fellow firefighters.
He said that the job of a fire chief takes up a lot of time, and it truly wouldn’t be possible without the support of his family.
“They tolerate that, and if it was not for them, I wouldn’t be successful,” Hart said.
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