Out of darkness and tragedy, OKC bombing survivor, firefighter form friendship

Proud to Serve

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Firefighters often step into the most dangerous situations, like the immediate aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing.

On April 19, 1995, the devastation of the Oklahoma City bombing jolted the state and country.

Amy Downs was a young employee of Federal Employees Credit Union working in the Alfred P. Murrah building when an explosion nearly toppled it.

Downs miraculously survived, and credits God and a special first responder – a firefighter who kept her going.

His name is Allen Hill, and he told KFOR what happened when he learned Downs was trapped under the rubble.

“It didn’t look great. But you know, we were optimistic. We’re firefighters, we’re always optimistic,” said Hill, who is now retired. “We just started working on it. We started trying to calm her down and went from there.”

Downs was hanging on as best as she could, but said she felt like she was going to die.

“Allen and the other rescuers, they risked their life to save mine,” said Downs, President of Allegiance Credit Union.

Fortunately, Downs was rescued and she vowed to change her life.

“I try to live my life, you know, to the best that I can, knowing that living on borrowed time [I] got this second chance,” she said.

And now, as we approach the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, Downs wanted to thank her first responders, as well as the many others who arrived that fateful day to help.

“We just want to honor you and all of the first responders this month. Thank you,” she told Hill.

In the two and a half decades that have passed since the bombing, Downs remains dear friends with Hill.

In fact, a few years ago, Downs recruited Hill to run the OKC Memorial Half Marathon.

Out of the immense tragedy of the Oklahoma City bombing, good things happened, like the friendship of Downs and Hill.

Sponsored by Allegiance Credit Union.

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