Moody High Schooler saves woman in recent floods

Branson Aycock, a senior, is a volunteer firefighter with the Moody Volunteer Fire Department

MOODY, TEXAS - During recent flash flooding, an 18-year-old senior at Moody High School made sure a Gatesville woman saw a tomorrow.

Branson Aycock joined the Moody Volunteer Fire Department when he was 16.

"My grandpa and my dad have been doing it for quite a few years," Aycock said.  "I guess I've been down the line."

It runs in the family.  Moody Fire Chief Mike Alton said he and Branson's mom used to fight fires together too.

But Alton is also Aycock's Ag teacher at school and having known him since he was born, he knew that for Branson, becoming a firefighter was inevitable.

"When he was about 8 years old was when he kept saying, 'I'm going to be a fireman,'" Alton said.  "He was able to become a junior fireman when he was 16 and when he turned 18, he became a full-time member."

When asked what drew Aycock to fighting fires he said, "I just kind of like the adrenaline rush and helping my community."

But recently, Branson had a different rescue, forcing this hero to step outside of his comfort zone.

"I don't really like water to begin with," Aycock said.  "But we had to do what we had to do."

On Nov. 5, Branson Aycock and the Moody Fire Department were called to a creek west of Moody.  They found a car butted up against a pole, debris strewn about.

The car, and the woman driving it, had been swept off of FM 107, which was covered in water a foot deep.  This kind of flooding is something Moody hadn't seen in a long time.

"Some of the rescues we've been on, it's mainly where we get them out but mainly their car is in the water," Alton said.  "But in this situation, it was truly a life or death situation."

After wrapping a winch around their waists, Aycock and other firefighters rescued a Gatesville woman whose car had been swept away.

She was in the creek, too, hanging onto a tree with all her might.

And in a true life or death situation, Alton said he knew Branson was capable of this kind of heroism.

He just wishes he had more Branson Aycock's.

"If I had about 10 more of him, we'd have probably the best fire department I think you could ever have," Alton said.

Less than 72 hours later, Alton said Aycock and the Moody VFD responded to another high-water rescue.  This time, it wasn't life-or-death, however Aycock showed his maturity and responded exactly as he needed to.


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