Pictures were posted to the department’s Facebook page showing firefighter Michael Jarest washing baby bottles in a kitchen that was badly damaged after a fire, bringing new meaning to the department’s “First in Service” motto.
“He asked did I need a bottle or something. I said yes, so he started washing,” said Gabriel Marquez, whose kitchen caught on fire while she was cooking for her children after school Wednesday.
Jarest, who has a child of his own, said you could chalk it up to fatherly instinct.
“She was collecting her belongings and things she was going to need overnight,” Jarest recalled. “I saw that she was going to need some bottle, because she has a young child. I have a child at home, and those were the only bottles, so I washed them so she had something for the night for her child.”
Some may consider the good deed going beyond the call of duty, but the Myrtle Beach Fire Department believes the photos show the true integrity of its firefighters and their commitment to the community.
“In that moment, in the shambles, the wreckage, the damage, it’s hard to pick out what you’ll need,” said Lt. Christian Sliker, with MBFD. “His instinct, whether it’s his fatherly instinct or his first in service as a firefighter, to help like that was great. It made her extremely happy, and it put a smile on everyone’s face in that room.”
“It shows the characters of our firefighters,” Jarest added. “These people in need are going through a tough time as it is, and we want to make it easier for them as much as possible.”
For that, Gabriela is thankful.
“I just want to say thank you very much for what they did and gave to my family. They were very helpful and very nice.”