Hattiesburg firefighters receive medal for water rescue

Hattiesburg firefighters receive medal for water rescue

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Fire Department awarded four of its swift water rescue team members the Medal of Merit Monday.

Hattiesburg Fire Chief Paul Paul Presley presented the medal to Captain Matt Saucier, engineer Sam Caldwell and firefighters Matt Patterson, Ricky Sheppard for a rescue the team performed during flooding in Forrest County near Black Creek on March 11, 2016.

"They saved four people's lives," Presley said. "I mean literally saved their lives because they almost drowned that day."

Saucier said his team was already out in Forrest County rescuing others, when they received a call about four people who needed to be rescued.

"We launched a boat and made our way to them and luckily got them out before they were swept off their car," he said. "It could have been a bad situation, but we got them out in time."

Presley said, "They had to make a quick decision to go in there and save those people. Of course they had to cut through old fences and stuff like that and trees. They eventually got them out. They made a quick decision, and they've done a good job."

Saucier said receiving the award is an honor, but said it was just a typical day's work.

"It's just our job," Saucier said. "It's something we do everyday. It's nothing we look forward to, to do something like this. It's just part of our job, and when we get called to do something, we go do it."