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Photo of firefighter reading to young girl at accident scene goes viral


Allie Marie Schmalz | Facebook | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 11/05/21

The firefighter showed a surprising side to his job.

Montana firefighter Ryan Benton recently showed a very different side of his profession when he was captured calmly reading to a young girl after a car crash. The image is particularly captivating as it shows a stark contrast to what we might expect from a frightening scene like that: a moment of calm among the drama.

The storytelling was photographed by a fellow firefighter, who posted it on the Billings Fire Fighters Instagram page. While Benton didn’t wish to comment about the photo, fellow engineer firefighter Cameron Abell shared with the Epoch Times:

“We’re going to take care of the job we’re doing there first. That’s our first priority. But there’s a lot of times after like the story you saw in the social media post. That firefighter, Ryan, he was there, they were cleaning up the car accident, and so he took it upon himself to take the time to make those kids feel safe.”

Unknown to many, for the last few years firefighters’ trucks actually come with book bags supplied by Rimrock Credit Union and Usborne Books to lend some reassurance to kids in traumatic situations. Abel explained:

“The book bags were an idea to bring some calm into their lives, to bring some sensibility into a really stressful situation. There’s a lot that goes on that they may not understand or they’re just overwhelmed by … That kind of can bring them some sense of normalcy in a really terrible situation, sometimes for them.”

Interestingly, by calming the kids with the book-reading, the adults gain a sense of calm, too, Abel shared.

For Benton, the moment shared with this little girl was just part of his job. And while he shies away from any publicity, as Abel pointed out, “we all know when somebody does something like that and gets spotlighted for it. It’s good to recognize their good work.”

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