It may be summertime and prime beach season, but a Harford County firefighter is never really on vacation, if the past few weeks have been any indication.
Susquehanna Hose Company Chief Scott Hurst became the second local firefighter in a little more than a week who, while spending time on the beach, helped save someone from drowning.
On Monday, Hurst helped provide aid to a man who came close to drowning in the Outer Banks in North Carolina, where Hurst is still on vacation with his family, according to a post on Harford Fire Blog on Facebook.
The incident comes just after an Aug. 3 rescue by Bel Air firefighter Steve Bittner, of a woman who nearly drowned at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
"Chief Scott Hurst and several other bystanders noticed a man face down in the water [and] in need of assistance," according to the blog. "Chief Hurst [and] the bystanders removed the victim from the water [and] Scott quickly established patient care."
Reached by phone Wednesday, Hurst said he was simply helping out, since he was the only one who knew emergency medical aid until the official EMS crew arrived.
He said the victim was a young man, who was under the water for more than 30 seconds.
"When we got down to the beach, they were in the process of trying to pull him out of the water," Hurst explained. "He was not doing too well."
Hurst said the man was semi-conscious, not alert, and the firefighter administered "some airway patient care, helped clear his lungs out."
"By the time EMS got there, he was a little more stable," Hurst said, adding he was hoping to see the young man again.
"We're hoping to maybe see him at the beach over the next few days," he said. "I know they're kind of staying in the same block as us."
Hurst said it was "kind of funny" because the beach patrol came over and thanked him.
But, as he also noted, he did not really have a choice but to help, even though he was technically on vacation.
"I guess you're always on duty, if you think about it," Hurst said. "It's your obligation to do what you could to help it. I was glad to be able to help because there was no one with EMS training on the scene."
The Harford Fire Blog stated: "Without Chief Hurst's assistance, this situation could've taken a turn for the worse. A job well done goes to Chief Hurst for his actions. We're proud to have volunteers like yourself from Harford County, willing to help out at any time."
Steve Bittner, a Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company firefighter, was credited with helping a lifeguard save a woman from drowning last month at Rehoboth Beach, Del., where he was vacationing.