DC police, firefighters saved 7-year-old’s life. Now they’re sending her to Disney World

D.C. police and firefighters came together on May 5 to give 7-year-old Reagan Grimes gifts after surviving a shooting days earlier. Almost a month later, the first responders came again to give Reagan a surprise. (Courtesy D.C. Fire and EMS)

Capt. Jason Moore with D.C. Fire Engine Company 27 kept thinking — and hearing — the same sentiment as first responders worked to save the life of 7-year-old Reagan Grimes.

It didn’t look good.

The little girl was shot in the chest at an apartment complex in Northeast D.C. on May 1 where she had been visiting relatives. Moore said police had already arrived and were tending to Reagan’s wounds.

They placed a dressing for open chest wounds where she’d been shot. She had already lost a lot of blood.

Moore explained the layout of the grounds of the apartment complex on Jay Street made it difficult to get an ambulance close to the building where Reagan was found.

So with the help of one of the officers, Moore carefully placed the girl in the arms of one of his firefighters. He told his colleague, “Please. Run. And don’t stop until you get to the ambulance.”

The crew followed the ambulance to Children’s National Medical Center.

“There was probably 15 to 20 people working on her in the ER, and it wasn’t looking like it was going to be a positive outcome” said Moore.

He was so convinced Reagan might not make it that he got ahold of peer support for the two firefighters who worked on her and told them to take the next day off.

Days later, Moore said, he and his crew were stunned to learn that Reagan was going to be released from the hospital. They arranged to have her family visit Engine Company 27 and meet the first responders who’d worked so hard — and hoped so desperately — that she would survive.

Moore said when Reagan and her family appeared for the reunion just four days after the shooting on May 5, everyone was stunned.

Moore looked at Reagan, dressed neatly and noticed the two firefighters who’d tended to her the night of the shooting were pretty choked up.

“They looked like they just swallowed a football,” Moore said as he relived that moment. “She got out of the car, and you would never know that that girl had a 2-inch hole through her chest.”

Reagan, smiling shyly, gave hugs to the well-wishers at the firehouse. Still protective of the little girl they had raced to an emergency room just three nights before, Moore said one of the firefighters told him “Man, tell the people to stop hugging her and touching her back!”

Next Chapter

Moore said seeing a recovery that was nothing short of a miracle continued to inspire his firefighters who wanted to do more for her and her family.

Moore said D.C. police officer Jason Medina had a contact at the nonprofit Code 3 Association, which works on improving relationships between police and communities.

In short order, they had a plan: Reagan and her family would be given a trip to Disney World, all expenses paid, courtesy of Code 3.

As soon as he heard that, Moore said he got in touch with Reagan’s mother and told her: “I think you need to make sure you make Reagan a princess when you get there.” He told her about talking his daughter to Disney World years ago and how there is an area where little girls can — literally — get the royal treatment.

On Wednesday, members of the D.C. police department, D.C. Fire and Reagan’s family met again, this time for a lunch provided by Mission BBQ, where the little girl learned she’d be headed to Disney World.

Vito Maggiolo, the Public Information Officer for D.C. Fire and EMS said while the members of the D.C. Fire Department see all kinds of cases and treat all kinds of patients, Reagan Grimes’ case struck a chord among members of the department.

“Her amazing survival of what could easily have been a fatal injury just touched us,” Maggiolo said. “And we decided that her family deserved something special — that she deserved something special.”

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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