KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Airmen from the 81st Logistics Readiness Squadron assisted in the rescue of elderly residents evacuating a fire at Seashore Oaks Assisted Living Facility in Biloxi, Mississippi, after receiving a call, Sept. 17.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Carpe, 81st LRS ground transportation and equipment support NCO in charge, and Airman 1st Class Jared Hill, 81st LRS ground transportation personnel, arrived at the facility with a 44-passenger bus around 30 minutes after being contacted. Approximately 60 elderly residents were in need of immediate assistance.
“At first, we didn’t fully understand the situation,” said Hill. “We just knew there was an assisted living home that had caught fire, and that we had to get there as quick as we could. I was a little anxious.”
After arriving on scene, Carpe and Hill were able to get in contact with the fire chiefs at the location and help out.
“Once we kind of got settled in down there, it felt pretty good to get recognized for taking the time to come help the elderly people,” said Hill. ”When we got the go ahead to get the bus and start loading people, it felt like we were there for a reason. Some of the people were veterans themselves, so they were talking to us about their service and asking us about how our service has been.”
Carpe and Hill assisted in transporting three residents and two dogs to a nearby motel for safety.
“A lot of the people had family members that were in town that came and picked them up,” said Hill. “No lives were in danger in this particular fire, but the fact we were able to help some of these elderly people get out, it was definitely honoring to be a part of.”
With all the residents taken care of, Carpe and Hill were able to return home.
“It made me feel pretty good because it’s something we don’t really get to do a lot, so when we actually get to help out the community like that, it’s pretty nice,” said Carpe.