Little Becky Bhalti, age 7, had lost her grip on the purple string attached to her balloon. As the balloon ascended into the afternoon sky, Bhalti followed the floating rubber to a water tower nestled next to Sloppy Second in Vodou.
In an attempt to recover the toy, Bhalti worked her way to the top of the tower, where it had become entangled. While Bhalti managed to rescue her balloon, she would soon need rescuing of her own.
Her heroes from the Fire Department of Hathian (FDH) sped to the scene with sirens blaring and lights flashing, the signal that Hathian’s Bravest had arrived. With urgency and pride, Lt. Emily Cooper lifted the large ladder, which sits atop the fire truck known as Taz, hundreds of feet into the sky. Cooper followed the same path, rung by rung, as he hustled towards a sobbing Bhalti.
Despite the evening dew that had collected on the ladder, Cooper maintained her potentially treacherous ascent. All the while, FF Kenzii Matsui used the megaphone to shout instructions and keep the panic-stricken child calm. After risking her own life, Cooper eventually made it to the top of the tower where she collected and harnessed Bhalti and began her descent back down the ladder.
“She did some impressive climbing to get up there,” said Cooper. “I’ll give her that, but the poor thing probably did not realize how high up she was until she found herself on top of the tower. This was one of those situations where you really don’t want things to go wrong and thankfully it didn’t.”
In the aftermath, firefighters calmed the child and even made her an honorary “Rescue Ranger” with the HFD. She was later reunited with her social worker.
“We risk our lives everyday and Sometimes we just see the darker side in Hathian,” said Paramedic Gracey Flanagan. “Though today it was touch and go and a little scary, albeit more so for us probably than Becky we came out on top and here was this beautiful little girl who rescued or team right back. We aren’t heroes we are your neighbors your friends were just like everyone else doing the job.”