(NBC News) — Firefighter Chris Blazek admitted that his pulse rate jumped a little bit when his engine received a call on Saturday that a pregnant mother and her three small children were involved in a car accident.
“It adds a certain urgency to the call,” Blazek told TODAY.
Blazek, 39, helped ease that tension for the distraught mother with a simple gesture once his Chattanooga Fire Department crew arrived at the scene.
Once he checked the woman’s 4-month-old daughter for injuries, he asked permission to remove her from her car seat. Blazek then comforted the crying girl by cradling her in his arms.
“The second I got done looking her over, she laid her head on my shoulder and just fully embraced me,” he said. “After I sat down, she just immediately went to sleep on me.”
The touching scene was captured in a photo by fellow firefighter Kyle Vradenburgh. Blazek wrote a message to go with the picture, which was posted on the department’s Facebook page: “It’s moments like this, that I am reminded, this is why I do the job.”
A captain and 12-year veteran of the fire department, Blazek is also a father of four daughters ranging in age from 3 to 10, so he has plenty of experience when it comes to comforting baby girls.
He later heard through the department’s public information officer that the family was fine after being checked at a local hospital for any injuries. The department did not release their names.
By posting the photo, Blazek said his squad was hoping to get the word out about everything being a firefighter entails.
“I think everybody thinks that firefighters just run into burning buildings, but there is so much more to the job,” he said. “It was important just knowing that not only I was comforting the little one, but her mom knowing that she was in good hands.”