Girl Scout receives life-saving award at Molino Fire Station

Northwest Florida

MOLINO, Fla. (WKRG) — Girl Scout and Molino resident Destany McKim was recognized for her heroism with a pinning ceremony Wednesday, Aug. 12 at the Molino Escambia County Fire Rescue Station 18. 

Escambia County Fire Rescue nominated 14-year-old Destany McKim to receive the Girl Scout Bronze Cross for Valor for the heroic and life-saving actions of saving her mother, grandmother and two dogs from a house fire at their home last January.

Destany was only 12 years old at the time, and awoke her mother and grandmother after smelling smoke. The smoke was rapidly filling up in the house but Destany remained calm and lead her family to safety. Once outside, Destany realized their two family dogs were kenneled on the porch and went back to rescue them. She carried both dogs to safety, including a 65-pound basset hound.

“Escambia County Fire Rescue are very proud of this young lady,” Fire and Life Safety Specialist Ray Melton said. “We teach hundreds of kids each year how to be safe and escape fires, and to have a plan, but we don’t teach courage folks—this young lady demonstrated courage. She’s being awarded the bronze cross with valor, and that is the highest life-saving award in Girl Scouts.”

Chairman and District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry will also present her with a proclamation on Thursday, Sept. 3 during the regular board meeting. Destany also received a certificate from ECFR fire prevention.

“If this young lady had not acted the way she did that night of that fire, this would have been a very tragic fire for Escambia County,” Melton said. “We would have lost three lives. But her bravery carried her through. She used her fear as a tool — which we try to teach our kids — and she pulled through.”

Melton read an official letter from Girl Scouts of American Chief Executive Officer Sylvia Acevedo:

Dear Destany, on behalf of the entire Girl Scout movement, I want to send my heartfelt congratulations to you for earning one of the highest honors the Girl Scouts can bestow—the bronze cross. Your extraordinary courage and credible confidence and willingness to take decisive action in the midst of an emergency has not only saved a life but has also served as shining example for Girl Scouts everywhere of fortitude and dedication. Your heroism and sound judgement have earned you a place in a pantheon of heroes who have come before you and left an indelible mark on the Girl Scouts.
As you know well, that Girl Scouts will strive to help girls develop the skills to improve their own lives and the world around them. By doing your very best to save a life, you are a living testament to the highest principle of Girl Scout promise and law. You are a girl of courage, confidence and character, and through your actions you have truly made the world a better place.
The Bronze Cross pin is worn is worn on the insignia sash, or vest, below the membership stars to the right or left of the bridging patch. As our founder Juliette Gordon Low once said, ‘Scouting rises within you, and inspires you to put forth your best.’ You are proof of the virtue and truth of Juliette’s words, and I know she would be as proud and inspired as I am. Thank you for all you do.

Girl Scouts of American Chief Executive Officer Sylvia Acevedo

Escambia County Fire Rescue responded to a residential structure in the 3000 block of Crabtree Church Road, Molino on January 25, 2019. Upon arrival, heavy fire was visible from the home and Destany and her family were standing safely in the front yard. 

“It is an absolute honor to celebrate this very special moment for one of Escambia County’s young heroes,” said Escambia County Administrator Janice Gilley. “Destany not only was courageous and brave, she used her fire safety education to act quickly and rescue her family and pets.”


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