Mobile firefighter who helped resident with hearing impairment honored

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A Mobile firefighter,who helped a person with a hearing impairment after an apartment fire in early June, has been honored as Firefighter of the Month of June by Mobile Fire-Rescue.

On Friday, June 5, fire crews were called to Summer Tree Apartments on Azalea Road for a 2nd-alarm fire. Several units sustained damage, and seven families were displaced in the aftermath. As a result, The American Red Cross worked tirelessly to find shelter for everyone. Staff and volunteers discovered that one of the residents was deaf and in need of an interpreter to converse with the Department and The American Red Cross.

Calls to Mobile Fire-Rescue’s Communications Division and requests to Mobile Police Department revealed there were no American Sign Language interpreters on record. Capt. Charles B. Andrews, who is fluent in ASL, was on shift at Station 26 (8080 Airport Blvd), and officials at the scene recommended contacting Capt. Andrews for assistance. Andrews was requested to the scene at about midnight, and he responded with no hesitation or debate.

Capt. Andrews was able to adequately translate for the resident, assisting for hours into the night/morning, ensuring that The American Red Cross and the citizen could communicate effectively. That evening, Mobile Fire-Rescue says Capt. Andrews went beyond the normal duties of a firefighter to act as a case worker, diplomat, and translator for a citizen in dire need.

“Captain Andrews’ actions are a testament to his character and dedication to those around him. He consistently invests in others and works hard every day to better not only his skill set but also the skills and knowledge of his coworkers. Words and awards cannot adequately represent the appreciation of the City of Mobile or the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department,” Mobile Fire-Rescue said in a Facebook post.

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