After saving mom and baby, firefighter forced to give up career
Lt. Vernon Lane had no idea that catching a baby out of one of the apartment's third story windows would end his 16-year career as a firefighter.
A Chattanooga firefighter won't be able to work in the career he's always loved because he was injured while saving two lives last year.
It happened at Hidden Creek Apartments in East Brainerd in 2015.
CFD Lt. Vernon Lane had no idea that catching a baby out of one of the apartment's third-story windows would end his 16-year career as a firefighter.
"My instinct told me just to dive, just dive and try to catch the baby," Lt. Lane told Channel 3 in a previous interview.
Hidden Creek rebuilt the apartments lost in the fire but can't replace the career that was lost when an off-duty firefighter saved two lives.
"I felt the weight of somebody's body come down on my back as I was getting back up, and I realized it was the mother of the child," he added.
Channel 3 was there when Lt. Lane visited that mother in the hospital shortly after the fire.
Little did we know, Lt. Lane was recovering from injuries too that would eventually bring his career to an end.
Chief Chris Adams says firefighters have to be in the best physical condition to stay on the job.
"Firefighters have to be 100%. We have to be able to lift heavy weight, climb up ladders and crawl. We have to be able to bend and distort our bodies in any kind of fashion, so the public expects us to have 100% of that ability when they respond and we expect that," Chief Adams said.
Lt. Lane lived in the burning building. As he ran out, he realized others needed his help.
"I was just doing my job. It's my instinct to help. That's what police officers and firefighters do. It's our instinct to just be there and help," Lt. Lane said.
"I guarantee if he were given the opportunity to do it again tomorrow, he would do it again tomorrow," Chief Adams added.
A true representation of a firefighter's character.
Chief Adams says Lt. Lane will get his pension when it kicks in.
No word from Lt. Lane on his hopes or plans for the future, but when we know we will pass it along.
The Channel 3 Team would like to say thank you to Lt. Lane for his service to the community.