A photographer recently captured an Arizona firefighter doing something that nobody ever expected to see.
According to American Overlook, the viral photo shows the firefighter reading a story to a little boy whose mother and sister had just been hurt in a car accident.
32-year-old Shana Pacheco was driving her 2-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son Lucas around on December 18 when the accident occurred. Though the children were unharmed, they were absolutely terrified, so firefighter Russell Whaley stepped up to the plate.
When Whaley and his team arrived on the scene, they treated Pacheco and her daughter first because they had the most visible injuries, but it was then that the mother told the firefighter something.
“My son started getting worried and scared,” Pacheco said. “He was nervous seeing me with an oxygen mask and all this stuff on me.”
Seeing an opportunity to make a difference, Whaley asked the toddler about his ninja turtles T-shirt.
“The next thing I know, we have a book in front of us and he’s sitting on my lap and we’re reading a book on the side of the freeway,” Whaley explained.
While Pacheco spoke to the police, Whaley kept her son entertained, and that’s when bystander Steffani Blair snapped the photo. She later shared the image on Facebook, along with the following message:
“This sweet photo is from an accident I happened to be at today, I stopped at the scene because no emergency crews had yet arrived and I wanted to be sure everyone was alright. There were two adorable children, slightly scared, but both okay in one of the cars. After being assured that everyone was truly okay, I sat with this sweet little boy until the ‘good guys’ came in their fire trucks to do a better assessment. A little bit later, I captured this sweet picture of one of Chandler’s finest reading to this amazing little boy. Be kind to our first responders, they have a tough job, and they do it EXCEPTIONALLY well. Grateful to have witnessed this sweet tender mercy today.”
Pacheco is very grateful to Whaley and his team for what they did.
“The whole crew stayed with us until my husband got there and was able to take us home,” she said. “They obviously didn’t have to do that, I’m sure they had other calls.”
The modest Whaley, however, says he was just doing his job.
“There’s only one thing I was disappointed about that day — we never got to finish the book!” the firefighter said.
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