When there is a situation like the North Bay fires or just any really scary situation, when you’re not sure how big the moment is going to be or what the outcome is going to be, I always wonder, if I were in that situation, how would I handle it. Could I keep my cool?
If you think about it, first responders are in this situation ALL THE TIME!
Today, I heard about a man, who was in that very situation, and how he handled it, really struck me.
He is Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Aldridge and he saved 35 lives in a parking lot as the Tubbs Fire burned last week. The parking lot in Santa Rosa became a place for people trying to get out of the fire to go but the problem was they were essentially trapped. They escaped their homes but the road to safety was blocked so all 35 people, in their cars huddled in this parking lot with ONLY 1 fire extinguisher that Deputy Aldridge had in his patrol car.
The people that were in this parking lot said Deputy Aldridge was SO calm. He took people’s names, cracked jokes, continually assured them that they were safe, even though, he now says he wasn’t sure, and they said he REALLY made them feel like it was going to be okay. And they are okay, and now there are a couple of people that were in that parking lot that night that say they are trying to track Deputy Aldridge down to buy him a meal or a drink or just say “Thank you”.
Photo: Paul Kuroda
Carolyn McArdle talked about Deputy Aldridge!