Think back to when you were 18-years-old. What did you do with your free time? 

An 18-year-old from Scott is devoting his free time to saving others’ lives. 

Hayden Gannard joined the Scott Fire Department as a junior fireman when he was 14. 

Chief Chad Sonnier has seen him grow from a junior firefighter into a full-time volunteer. 

"He does station duties like he's getting paid," Sonnier said. "He works right alongside the paid guys. He mops the floors. He cleans the station. He waxes the truck. He does everything, and he does it because he loves the fire service and (because) he loves to help people." 

Helping people is what Gannard did on October 15th, 2020. It's a day Hayden says had started like most others. 

 "We had just finished up doing station duties," Gannard. "We had just finished up dust mopping the floors and wiping down countertops. We had just sit down to talk about what we were going to train on that night."

That's when the fire station got the call. A one-year-old had been run over by a car. Gannard and other firefighters rushed to the scene. 

"You always hope for the best, but you're thinking about the worst," Gannard said. "You're listening to the call, listening to every detail, every word the dispatcher is saying, trying to get as much information as you can before you go so you have a plan of action before you arrive on scene." 

When he got there, Gannard found the baby lying on the ground. The infant was covered in blood and had no pulse. Gannard gave the one-year-old CPR. 

 "It felt like forever, but I assume five to 10 minutes--at the most, 10 minutes," Gannard said.

When paramedics arrived, they took the baby to the ambulance and revived her.   

One of the first people who found out about Hayden's life-saving mission: His mom. 

"He called me and told me about it because we're really close and we talk a lot,” his mom, Paige Hollier, saidI told him I was proud of him and to keep up the good work. 

Hollier was beaming as her son received his medal from the Louisiana First Responders Christian Association.

"It was amazing to see this. I'm glad they are recognizing the firefighters for all the work they do. I love him and I'm proud of him." 

Gannard credits his superiors for preparing him for situations like the one he faced in October. 

"It's all about training and who our leader is. Chief Chad Sonnier, Deputy Chief (Chris) Domingue, all of our command staff, our captains, our lieutenants. It's the way we were trained. And, of course, it comes with experience and doing it." 

Gannard also has a message for the family of the child whose life he saved. 

 "I want that family to give to give an extra hug from me to them and just watch over. God was watching out for that kid." 

Gannard says he wants to go into the Lafayette Fire Academy and join a career department in the area while staying part time in Scott. He also wants to go into law enforcement and plans to train in that field, too.  It's a dream he's begun to fulfill. Gannard's family tells us he was accepted into the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office Corrections Academy in May. He began his training there in June.

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