MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Heroes across the Mid-South are driven by purpose. After serving in the Marines, November’s Mid-South Hero found his -- saving lives in Memphis.
Military veterans can have a hard time replacing the hole often left when they leave the service.
One Mid-South Marine found his new calling as a Memphis firefighter.
Brandon Pittman’s actions just weeks into starting that new job helped save a life, earned him recognition from the city and made him this month’s Mid-South Hero.
“Soon as we got there people were hollering saying there was someone in the house trapped," said Carlos Northcross.
It was August 2018, Brandon Pittman was two weeks on the job at Fire Station 29 and a woman was trapped in her home as it burned around her.
While he was a rookie in the department that morning, Pittman was no stranger to high stakes situations.
All of my family is military, everybody; dad, sister, brother," said Pittman. “I only had two choices; it was Army or Marine Corps.”
Pittman shipped off to boot camp for the United States Marine Corps two weeks after graduating from High School.
He gave the corps eight years, serving four combat tours and climbing from a rifleman to a sergeant, commanding a squadron of about 15 other Marines.
“The Marine Corps puts purpose in you," said Pittman. “They want you to believe that whatever you’re doing is more important than anything else you could possibly be doing, more important than you’re personal safety, more important than coming home sometimes, so when you lose that you spend a lot of time trying to find that again and that’s how I ended up here.”
Here, still less than a year-and-a-half into his time as a Memphis firefighter, already honored with the city's "Life Saver Medal" for his role in rescuing a woman from her burning home last year...
After people on scene at the fire pointed them to a back bedroom, Pittman and several other firefighters struggled to pull her safely from the room.
“I actually got there last. When I got there I was able to pick her up high enough for them to get her out the window. Then we pulled her to the front yard and the paramedic went to work on her and actually brought her back," said Pittman.
A heroic effort that Pittman credits to all of the firefighters and paramedics who pulled her from that room and actions that his coworkers say personify his attitude.
“He doesn’t think about himself a lot. He’s worried about others all the time," said Northcross.
For the former Marine looking to continue meaningful work...
"It was a confirmation that I found that purpose."
A purpose that makes you, Brandon Pittman, this month’s Mid-South Hero.
If you know someone worthy of the title “Mid-South Hero” nominate them at wmcactionnews5.com.