Suffolk firefighter awarded after being injured while helping colleague

Posted at 5:56 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 17:56:04-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - News 3 is honored to be the media sponsor for the 2020 Valor Awards.

The Hampton Roads Chamber produces this event to honor first responders who have gone beyond the call of duty during the past 12 months.

Will be sharing these stories of heroics all week.

This Valor Award goes to an incredibly brave woman who almost lost her life to save a colleague.

Suffolk Fire Lieutenant Laurina Watson is just coming back to the job after a smoldering brick wall fell on her.

Watson pushed a colleague to safety as the wall came crashing down.

Chief Michael Barakey reflected on the incident saying, “I think it’s every chief’s nightmare to see somebody injured or hurt.”

“I retreated back with my crew, and that was when I noticed the wall was starting to move. Then, all I could think was I had to get my guy out of the way. So, I turned to shove him," Watson said.

Related: Firefighters receive awards for rescuing toddler from burning home

“These fire helmets that we wear is scarred from the wall hitting her head. Her gear is burnt, her body has suffered, but she was there for a reason. I wouldn’t change her fire attack one bit. I wouldn’t change her decision making one bit. I wouldn’t change anything about that fire because she did it right," Chief Barakey said.

Watson added, “I didn’t even think about myself at the moment. It’s weird the things that you think when you’re in the middle of that situation."

Join us on for a live broadcast of the Valor Awards on Monday August 10 at 12:45 p.m.