Hometown Heroes | Dunbar Firefighters

DUNBAR, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Firefighters are typically viewed as every day heroes. Each day--called out to emergencies, never knowing what they are going to face.

Captain Josh Bowers, Deputy Chief Jason Burger, Lieutenant Chuck Carney and Isaac Brunetti with the Dunbar Fire Department were named WSAZ Hometown Heroes after helping save a baby's life.

But Tuesday, Aug. 20, a call came across the radios at the Dunbar Fire Department for an emergency that had them all scared of what they were going into.

"We were dispatched for a one-month-old in possible cardiac arrest," said Deputy Chief Jason Burger with the Dunbar Fire Department. "On the way there, we were actually having a conversation, saying please don't let this be real. That's just a call that you never want to run."

They were called out to Amy Smith's home in Dunbar after she noticed that her baby, Brayden, less than two-weeks old at the time, was barely breathing.

"Every other breath, he was gasping," said Smith. "So I went in there and picked him up and sat him up on me to see if there was a blockage. He wasn't getting any better. So I texted my mom to have her drive us to the emergency room because he wasn't that bad yet. She lives in Nitro, so that 5 to 10 minutes before she got there, he had turned grey and around the mouth was turning blue. He couldn't breathe at all really."

Her mom had already started CPR on the baby, but it wasn't working.

Deputy Chief Jason Burger, Captain Josh Bowers, Lieutenant Chuck Carney and Isaac Brunetti were there within minutes.

Burger didn't hesitate--running in the house to get the baby.

"When I got to him, he was gasping maybe 4 to 5 times a minute, which we know isn't enough to sustain anything so I started chest compressions," said Burger. "Then they came in and that's when we started ventilating and breathing for the baby."

Eventually, they were able to get a pulse and Brayden was rushed to the hospital.

He is now doing just fine. His mom says all of his tests came back negative and there were never able to find anything wrong with him.

On Wednesday, Sept. 4, Brayden was reunited with the firefighters that helped to save his life.

His mom stopped by the station to let them all see him. To see that story, click here.

It was a surprise that they weren't expecting, just as they weren't expecting to be named WSAZ's Hometown Heroes.

"I am thankful. I am very, very thankful for them," said Smith.

"You wonder everyday, do you really make a difference," said Burger. "Then you run a call like this and it's rewarding to see that you actually do. Some days are just another day but when you run into something like this, you realize that you have done something."

Brayden turned a month old on Sept. 9. All of the firefighters say they try to keep up with Smith on Facebook to keep track of how Brayden is doing.