By Brett Gillin
Instincts can be a tricky thing. For example, some people will instinctively run away when facing a scary or dangerous situation while others will stand to face it head-on. Some people’s instincts lead them to seek out dangerous situations while others will do anything to avoid them. When people see another person in need, some will instinctually try to help, others will avert their gaze and hope someone else will intervene. But when the person in question is a police officer and former Marine, it’s pretty easy to guess where their instincts will lead them in the face of danger and helping others in need.
Officer Danny Eubanks of the Bessemer Alabama Police Department has what can only be described as heroic instincts. This was on full display last week when Eubanks showed up to the scene of an apartment fire. Eubanks explained to Fox 6 that when he pulled up to the scene, he didn’t have to think at all. His natural instincts just kicked in.
“When I first pulled up, it was natural instinct. You could see the family still inside the building,” Officer Eubanks told Fox 6.
Suddenly, Eubanks found himself alongside two other people playing a high-stakes game of “catch.” As you can tell in the cell phone video captured by Jeremy Hagrove and obtained by WSMV, Eubanks positioned himself below a second story window when people began jumping out. In each case, Eubanks was able to grab the plummeting person before they were seriously injured.
“One was a little boy. He was pretty easy. He was about 5-years-old,” Eubanks explained. “After that it was maybe a daughter and then a mother and a father.” The four people Eubanks caught each escaped the fire and fall with only minor cuts and bruises. Had the story ended there, Eubanks would rightfully be called a hero for his actions, but he was just getting started.
After ensuring that no one else was going to jump from that particular window, a witness told Eubanks that there were more people on the other side of the burning building. Eubanks rushed to the other side to see two people lying on the ground, injured.
As it turned out, the man and woman also jumped from the upper floor of the apartment, but without someone like Eubanks to help them break their fall, both of them broke their legs. Eubanks took turns pulling the man and woman to safety and onto paramedics’ stretchers.
Eubanks also gave credit to his training as a Marine in explaining how he was able to react so quickly to the needs of the victims. “Definitely, it helped prepare me. At that point, there was nothing between me and them. There was disaster. Nothing going to stop me from getting to them,” Eubanks told reporters.