Uncut: A firefighter who gave so that others may live

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by JOHN McCAA

Bio | Email | Follow: @johnmccaa

WFAA

Posted on February 14, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 16 at 7:40 PM

The bravest thing I have ever seen is an Arlington firefighter climb into the second-story window of apartment building filled with smoke and flames and hand out the limp bodies of four small children.

Not one of those children was over five, and not one of them made it.

It’s been at least 25 years since I saw that, and still, once a month I see the faces of those children in my sleep.

I hear the shouts and scrambling, searching for one inch of life inside those kids. And I always remember none of those firefighters worried about themselves.

That’s the kind of man we lost this week in Dallas firefighter Scott Tanksley.

He was out in Monday’s freezing drizzle, assisting drivers stuck at Spur 408 and Interstate 20, when he went over a railing to the pavement several dozen feet below.

I never met him, but I have known men and women like him. Who, in the dark, in the worst weather, and in the most dangerous of places, come to our rescue.

His fellow firefighters will gather with his family to bury him this weekend.

Perhaps we should all take a moment to remember a man who, had we called, would have come running.

Those are my thoughts, send me yours at jmccaa@wfaa.com.

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