A Crawford County firefighter will be honored Tuesday for his actions in helping a 4-year-old girl that fell from a moving bus.
Ryan Ciampoli, a licensed EMT and Crawford County District 3 volunteer firefighter, is being honored by Fire-Dex, a company that makes turnout gear and equipment for firefighters, as a “Hometown Hero.”
“Fire-Dex is committed to honoring those who spend their lives protecting us,” Jenny McPherson with Fire-Dex said in an email. “Our Hometown Heroes program honors active firefighters who go above and beyond the call of duty.”
A ceremony to honor Ciampoli is set for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Mountainburg Municipal Complex.
“We’re proud of what he did; very proud of what he did,” said Rick Kimes, Crawford County District 3 Fire Department chief. “I hope all of my firefighters would do the same. He set a good example for our department.”
In April, Ciampoli was driving behind a transit bus on U.S. 65 in Harrison with his dashcam filming when the back door of the bus swung open and a little girl clinging to the door fell to the pavement, according to the video.
According to a statement made by Ciampoli after the incident, the 4-year-old girl was knocked unconscious. In the video, the bus continues to drive away.
Ciampoli stopped his vehicle and rushed to attend to the girl, who started to wake up.
Because it was too dangerous for the girl to remain in the street, Ciampoli said, he moved her to a nearby truck bed and began checking her vitals and working to keep her conscious while waiting for emergency responders to arrive.
According to the Harrison Police Department incident report, the bus belonged to Christian Life Center church in Harrison and was being driven by the church’s pastor, Tim Hampton.
Hampton told police he was unaware of what had happened until the other kids on the bus yelled for him to stop, and he then returned to the scene and waited for police. There were 10 other passengers on the bus, according to the report.
According to reports, paramedics arrived in about 5 minutes. The girl suffered a broken jaw and other nonfatal injuries.
At the ceremony on Tuesday, Fire-Dex will present Ciampoli with a commemorative helmet, plaque, a new pair of firefighter boots and $500 to the charity of his choice for his actions that day, according to the email.
“Volunteer firefighters don’t get a lot of recognition - we seldom get a thank you,” Kimes said. “But this is pretty nice what everyone is doing for him.”