After a video of the rescue went viral on TikTok, Fort Lauderdale firefighters who rescued a woman in a wheelchair stuck 31 stories up are now sharing their story.
On Tuesday, we told you about Haleigh Rosa’s story. Floodwaters shut down her elevator, so Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue stepped in.
A typical firehouse routine is for the crew to get dressed up — oxygen tanks included — to do a full workout circuit, 20 flights of stairs included, and then eat dinner. This past Sunday, they were just finishing up a workout when they received the now-viral high-rise rescue call.
Rosa says in the video, “I want Johnny back,” referring to FLFR Firefighter John “Johnny” Jones.
Chance Davis, a FLFR Firefighter of two years, says, “I apologize, I probably smell, because I started cooking dinner right after the workout, and then the call came in, so… that’s probably why she wanted Johnny back.”
TikTok video captures Rosa, holding on tight, asking, “Am I choking you?” and a firefighter responding, “A little bit…”
“Initially she asked, ‘Oh, why don’t you guys just carry me?’ Just as a joke, and we were like, ‘Actually, that’s not such a bad idea.'”
John “Johnny” Jones, a 23-year veteran of FLFR, chimed in, “She’s a light girl, so we can take her up the stairs no problem. Let’s get this done.”
A burst pipe shut down the elevators on Rosa’s side of the apartment building on Sunday night, so firefighters carried her up 31 floors. It took the firefighting cavalry to help her get from her 31st-floor apartment to the working lifts on the other side of the building. She uses a wheelchair.
“On that particular call, all I did was carry her bags,” said FLFR Captain Mike Bloomberg.
In addition to carrying her, one of them carried the wheelchair – and it was a team effort.
At the time, Davis says, “I’m going to get a video for you guys, do you care?” Cap replies, “No, I don’t.”
I didn’t know what a TikTok was two years ago; it could have been a Tic Tac.
Then the phone starts going crazy – I get all these texts and a video sent to me, and I’m like, what’s going on? I couldn’t believe it was happening.”
Over 8,000,000 people have viewed Rosa’s TikTok video about her high-rise rescue. She showed up at the fire station Wednesday to show her appreciation.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better trio to save the day,” she said.
Fireman Derek’s treats were the treats she brought for the firefighters.
The firefighters are ready to help her again if she needs it.
As Davis put it, “It’s the best job in the world.”.
First responders shared lunch with Rosa.
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