Saudi firefighter Abdullah Badhan Al Subai became an instant hero in the kingdom after a picture of him carrying a small boy wearing his breathing mask to safety was widely circulated on social media.
Bloggers and online users heaped praise on the Saudi national ‘s courage and selflessnessness in saving the child from a fire in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.
We have just performed our duty and we thank God everybody is safe,” the firefighter said. “We heard there was a fire at a building in Al Rihab neighbourhood and we rushed to the area. As we were dealing with the blaze, we discovered that the heavy smoke made its way into the apartment across from the one where the fire erupted. I entered the flat and saw a child gasping for breath in a smoke-choked room and needed to be evacuated promptly,” he said, quoted by local news daily Sabq on Tuesday.
Abdullah said that he removed his mask and gave it to the little boy to help him breathe. According to normal protocol, this was not allowed but the fire fighter was determined to save the life of the child.
I helped him with the mask as I could not accept that I was breathing almost normally while he was having smoke inhalation problems. It is my duty to help and serve and if God willed me to die, so be it,” said Abdullah.
The fire fighter said that he carried the boy to the Red Crescent where paramedics looked after him and provided him with pure oxygen.
Bloggers and people on social media have showered praises on him online, proclaiming him a true hero who is a shining example for his fellow men.