MEADE COUNTY, Ky. (WHAS11) – For firefighters everywhere and especially in Jeffersonville, the saying “Saving Lives, Property, and the Environment 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week” is more than a motto. It's a mission, and one two of its finest lived out this past holiday weekend.
"We're just common people. We put our heads down and go to work every day. It's just what we do,” firefighter Greg Hammond said.
They may call themselves ordinary, but Greg Hammond and Mike Priest are nothing short of extraordinary. The father and stepson have a bond that runs deep. Sure, they're family, but they also share a passion and career. Mike is a retired firefighter with three decades of experience. Greg started on the department nearly 20 years ago. Since Mike left before Greg joined, the two never got to work together. That all changed Saturday. The two were driving through Meade County after a hunting trip when they saw smoke coming from a nearby house.
"I looked up, and I saw an arm hanging out of the second-story window. I told Mike, there's somebody up in that window and of course the smoke was pouring out of it,” Greg said.
Mike and Greg didn't miss a beat.
"I think if you talk to any fireman, once it's in your blood, it's in your blood. You just do what you do,” Greg said.
They jumped into action to save a father, son, and dog from the second floor of that burning home.
"You see that little boys face scared to death, so we just didn't think about anything except getting them out of there,” retired firefighter Mike Priest said.
They even assisted the short-staffed volunteer fire department when it responded.
"I knew when that truck pulled up and it only had two guys on it, I knew what I was going to do,” Greg said.
They swapped out street clothes for the familiar uniform and saved lives without thinking twice.
"I feel like we did just what everybody else would've done. So, we'll just leave it at that,” Greg said.
In true firefighter fashion, the Mike and Greg fulfilled their first original mission which was to get that deer meat processed. They reported it was pretty good, too.
Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore honored them both in a special ceremony Wednesday morning, presenting the men with “Commodores of the Port” awards.