In early October of this year, the state of California was rampaged by a series of treacherous wildfires. The 17 fires, which broke out throughout Napa, Lake, Sonoma, Mendocino, Butte, and Solano, brought destruction and devastation in their wake. The Tubbs Fire, in particular, even broke records, being named the most destructive wildfire in California history.
During a press conference held on October 13th, the Sonoma County Sheriff Department released body cam footage showing officers responding to the blazing wreck. One shocking video, showing Sgt. Brandon Cutting driving through the flames and rescuing a disabled woman, ultimately ended up going viral for the shocking way it juxtaposed the depth of destruction with the bravery of California’s emergency response personnel.
As the 56-second clip begins, you see Cutting, a 13-year veteran of the force, shining a flashlight through the smoke as he races towards his vehicle. The scene then changes and shows Cutting inside the car, attempting to navigate his way through the flames, smoke, and debris. “Please don’t hit me,” you hear him plead to other drivers from inside his car, yanking the steering wheel to avoid sudden obstacles.
After a few moments, the scene shifts again and Cutting pulls into a residential driveway and exits the vehicle. He rushes up the stairs on the left-side of the house, running over the porch and making his way to the front door.
“Sheriff’s Office!” he shouts as he bangs heavily on the door, looking for people who may still be around.
Once again, the video seamlessly cuts into another scene, showing officers in an outside area. It’s hard to see much because of the smoke and darkness, but you can hear an officer tell someone to ignore the shoe that they lost— it’s time to get out of here now.
You also hear another officer announce that the woman they’re trying to evacuate is disabled. Another unseen counterpart quickly rushes to the rescue, telling him, “Let me get her feet, let me get her feet. Her husband’s right behind you.”
As mentioned, the video, which was recorded during door-to-door evacuations in the Mark West Road area of Santa Rosa, was released during a department press conference. A post on the Sonoma Sheriff Facebook page, explains: “While it’s only one deputy’s video, it is representative of all the deputies who helped evacuate people that night.”
During the department’s press conference, Sheriff Robert Giordana also stated, “I think [the video] really tells the story of how dangerous and how difficult the event was. It’s absolutely human, and it’s very real and very honest and transparent.”
On behalf of Shareably, I’d just like to take this moment to thank all of our responding officers for their bravery, selflessness, and courage in a time when we needed them most.
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