2 Jeffersonville firefighters honored for off-duty bravery

Published: Nov. 29, 2017 at 6:05 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2017 at 9:42 PM EST
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JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) – Firefighter Mike Priest and his step-father Greg Hammond have a lot in common. Hammond is a current firefighter with the Jeffersonville Fire Department. Priest served as a firefighter at JFD and retired 20 years ago.

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Just when the two thought their relationship could not get any tighter, an incident over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend brought them memories they will never forget.

Hammond said it was a regular drive down to a venison processing facility with his step-father that ended up taking an interesting turn.

"I just happened to look over at a house and I saw it coming from the eaves of the house and I said, 'Mike - I think that's a house on fire,'" Hammond said.

If there's anything that the Jeffersonville Fire Department taught Hammond and Priest during their time of service, it's that life isn't about being prepared for everything.

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Both men are living proof that old habits die hard.

"I knew when that truck pulled up it only had two guys on it," Hammond said. "I knew what I was going to do."

A split-second decision to veer off and jump right into fight the fire turned out to be one that saved lives.

"Both of us had done it for so long we didn't even think about anything," Priest said. "Other than getting them out of that second floor."

Not a bad result, considering the two had never worked together before.

"It's a great feeling, it took 20 years to do it but I'm glad he still has it," Hammond said with a laugh. "At 73 years old, I didn't know he could move like that!"

Both men show that when you sign up to serve and save, it's a promise that's made for life. Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore presented them with "Commodore of the Port" certificates on Wednesday.

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