First responders know their lives may be put on the line every time they put on the uniform.
On Thursday, a Baltimore County firefighter was honored with a purple heart for his courage and sacrifice.
Captain Robert Biggs was badly injured while responding to a fire that killed a mother and her two children.
In August of 2017 Biggs and his unit arrived on scene to the fire at the Drumcastle Apartment Complex in Anneslie.
Biggs was one of the firefighters tasked with getting as many people out as possible.
“We were going up to the third floor of an apartment building we had a report of people trapped,” said Biggs. “We had heavy fire on the second floor third floor. It was going through the roof.”
He remembers opening an apartment door, then the ceiling came down on top of him.
“Knocked me down on my stomach, I don’t recall the incident after that,” said Biggs. “Afterword’s I came to in the front yard.”
Captain Biggs was off work for two months and put on light duty for a month after that.
Every day he wanted to get back to saving lives.
“It’s one of those jobs where it’s sad to say but it almost kills you and you're dying to go back to work,” Biggs said.
He said it was the worst fire he’s ever fought, both emotionally and physically.
He was knocked down that night, but his spirit to serve has only grown stronger.
“Since then I’ve been promoted and it’s a good ride, I love what I do and I’m very thankful I made it out.”