Firefighter Vũ Ngọc Hoàng after a rescue on Núi Trúc Street, Hà Nội in September, 2019. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang
HÀ NỘI — Firefighter Vũ Ngọc Hoàng always wishes he didn't have any work to do, then he would know there would be no fires to extinguish and no lives at risk.
But after ten years in the service, he knows that will never be the case.
Hoàng works with the fire prevention and control team at Đống Đa District police. Since he started, he has rescued many people over the years, and each one he can remember as if it had happened only yesterday.
2019 was a particularly unforgettable year and September 10 is a day etched into his mind. Hoàng and his team were dispatched to a major fire on Núi Trúc Street in Hà Nội.
When they arrived on scene, flames had already engulfed the building. Then they learned a person was trapped on the fourth floor.
Hoàng began the life-threatening task of search and rescue and it was him who found the victim, a 17-year-old boy, lying unconscious on the ground.
He used his breathing apparatus on the young man before lifting him on his back to take him to safety. But as they fought back flames and thick smoke, the team became trapped behind a door that wouldn't fully open.
The only way to squeeze through was to remove their bulky breathing equipment and take off their helmets. Eventually they got through and were able to bring the young man to safety.
Three days after the blaze he regained consciousness and now leads a normal life, but only thanks to the bravery and quick-thinking of Hoàng and his team.
“I am just a firefighter like my other colleagues," Hoàng said humbly. "If it wasn't me, my teammates will be willing to sacrifice themselves to save the victim.”
Hoàng (right) instructs a new firefighter how to use equipment. — VNA/VNS Photo
The 29-year-old police officer said firefighters like him usually do not have time for family during the holidays because they must be on working shifts. Sometimes they are on duty for three months without going home.
In spite of risks he might face and limited time for his family, Hoàng said he still loves the job.
He said: “It is such a hard work but I love it. Striving to complete assigned tasks to extinguish fires and save people is not just a responsibility of every firefighter, but it also shows human love.
“Firefighting is a typical profession. Whenever a fire or an explosion occurs, everyone runs out, the firefighters must come in. As a firefighter, I and my teammates always know there is no time for fear or hesitation.”
Hoàng was honoured to receive a number of awards and certificates from the Prime Minister, the Government and police for his contributions to the police sector.
Being among ten outstanding young faces of Hà Nội in 2020 was a reward that recognises Hoàng’s efforts and sacrifices.
Hoàng always remembers late President Hồ Chí Minh’s wish sent to firefighters at a meeting on January 1, 1955 at the Ba Đình Square: “I wish you have no job to do.”
Hoàng shares that sentiment, but he knows that will be an impossible wish unless more people become aware of fire prevention methods. — VNS