CHANDLER, Ariz. (KSAZ) - He's been a firefighter for the City of Chandler for 14 years, but much of what he does day-to-day the public really doesn't know about. He doesn't even have Facebook. But a photo of his act of kindness has now gone viral.
"I was very surprised, my daughter Cheyenne informed me that she was seeing this on her Facebook postings," said Russell Whaley.
The viral pictured captured Whaley reading to 4-year-old Lucas as first responders tended to the child's mother and baby sister after a car crash.
"I think it's wonderful, I feel very blessed to have been honored with the photo," said Whaley.
"It reinforces what I was taught at the academy, and that is everyday I come to work we make a difference in someone's life in a positive way, for me that day it was sitting down and reading a book," he said.
Steffani Blair is a nurse who stopped to help, she snapped the photo and uploaded it online. Whaley says countless acts of kindness like this one go unnoticed every day.
"Our job is to make a difference in everyone's day when we are called out because people need us, and they are trusting that we're going to do our very best," said Whaley.
He says the book was about a fish and Christmas.
"To be honest with you, I never got to finish the book, so I never got to hear what happened in the end," said Whaley.
The family and Lucas are doing ok. Chandler Fire has a tradition where if you're seen on TV you owe ice cream to your fellow firefighter, so now Whaley owes hundreds of his fellow firefighters that free ice cream.