A firefighter's photos of third-degree burns go viral
"I don't even have a lot of Facebook friends either, so the fact that it was able to get so widespread is amazing in itself," firefighter Aaron Williams said.
Williams received third degree burns to 16 percent of his body on April 8, while battling a house fire in Amador County. He told FOX40 within thirty seconds of making entry into the home, flames from a flashover burned right through parts of his gear. He survived, he said, because one of his fellow firefighters pulled him to safety.
"You're lost, you can't see in front of you, you cant see your way out. It's a humbling feeling," Williams said.
See photos of firefighter Aaron Williams below, warning these images are graphic:
Williams posted the photos to Facebook over the weekend, he said, in response to an article published by the Sacramento Bee in January that cited Sacramento Metro Firefighters as top earners in the region for 2014, taking home between $200,000 and $300,000 per year.
"That's the hundreds and thousand of overtime hours they had," Williams said.
Williams told FOX40 he felt like the article did not paint a clear picture of where firefighting funds come from.
Sac Metro Fire said that a significant amount of its firefighter's yearly wages came from overtime pay, and that this overtime was at no cost to taxpayers, but rather reimbursed one hundred percent by state and federal funds.
The Sacramento Bee responded to Williams' take on the article Wednesday night in writing, saying, "Our story was a straight forward analysis of public spending, something the Bee does regularly."
Williams said his intention was not to criticize the publication, but to inform people and to show support for Sac Metro firefighters, many of whom supported him after his first surgery.
"My whole motivation of writing the post I did was to return the love and tell them I had their back just like they had mine," Williams said.
Sac Metro Fire confirmed that they collaborate with the Sacramento Bee each year to release numbers on its firefighters salaries. Sac Metro Public Information Officer Michelle Eidam said they also shared Williams' post online, because it was so inspiring.