Between all this extreme chaos of power cuts, winds, and rain, people getting stranded in places with no rescue, the St. Augustine Fire Chief said they had 26 rescues during this storm.
When Hurricane Ian, a category four storm that hit regions from Florida to South Carolina on September 28, firefighters played a major role in rescuing and aiding people. The storm has reportedly claimed at least 21 lives until now. Between all this extreme chaos of power cuts, winds, and rain, people getting stranded in places with no rescue, the St. Augustine Fire Chief said they had 26 rescues during this storm.
In one of the missions, photographed by a co-firefighter, Oberholzer was seen rescuing a little girl on the island side of the Bridge of Lions. It was during the worst high tide with water evidently gushing from everywhere.
Firefighter Hardus Oberholzer has been on so many dangerous rescue missions in the wake of Hurricane Ian that's he's lost count, but there's one he says he won't soon forget — when he carried a little girl, the same age as his youngest son, to safety.— WTHR.com (@WTHRcom) October 2, 2022
Oberholzer walked through waist-deep water to get the young girl to safety. He said that the family of the girl had assumed they'd be able to hunker down, but after seeing the water increase inches inside the house, they decided to call for help before the next high tide arrived in the middle of the night. Oberholzer reported that they had to work with a massive truck so he felt comfortable driving into six feet of water which made him feel less in danger but surely caused it to be a nerve-wracking experience.
He didn't have a specific count but through the rescue missions, he might have at least rescued 10 to 15 lives. Living by his department's saying, "The more risk, the more you save," Oberholzer, a father of two, gave his everything to save people. "I knew they were just kind of racking up. They were almost on a waiting list. We finished one, we dropped them off, turned around, and went off. They were all kind of the same. People, they got caught, they didn’t think it was going to be as bad, then at the end of the day, they realized they needed to get out." said Oberholzer.
Many first responders like Oberholzer are back home with their families after a very busy week, reported 10 TV.
Hardus Oberholzer, a St. Augustine firefighter, was part of many of those dangerous missions.— KENS 5 (@KENS5) October 2, 2022
He said he was a part of so many rescues, he really didn’t have a specific count – but at least 10 to 15. 💙
Hardus earned his day off really well and got to spend time with his family in return for rescuing many precious lives. "She’ll have a little piece of my heart forever. It’s something in their eyes," he said. "When they truly are at their worst, we show up and have to be at our best every time. Something I’ll remember for the rest of my life and I hope they do too." He added that seeing her face was an experience that will stick with him for a while, reported First Coast News.
Cover Image Source: Youtube | First Coast News