Houston firefighter receives special surprise on ‘TODAY’

HFD Firefighter Josue Rios with NBC Correspondent Morgan Chesky during TODAY.
HFD Firefighter Josue Rios with NBC Correspondent Morgan Chesky during TODAY. (Courtesy, NBC's The TODAY Show)

HOUSTON – A Houston firefighter who works two jobs and fought COVID-19 received a surprise live on “TODAY” Tuesday morning.

Josue Rios has been with the Houston Fire Department for more than a decade, and works hard to provide for his family by working most 24-hour shifts and managing his second job at his family truck mechanic business, according to “TODAY.”

When he and his wife contracted COVID-19, he told “TODAY” it was frustrating to stay on the sidelines.

“The virus doesn’t take names, doesn’t care what you are. It affects you in a certain way,” he told Hoda Kotb on “TODAY.” “I was anxious, because I saw what the virus has done and there were times that the virus has hit close to home.”

He also told “TODAY” although his family was fortunate, his firehouse was hit hard by the virus, losing one of his beloved friends and colleagues, Veteran HFD firefighter Tommy Searcy.

The Rios family along with a group of HFD firefighters were live with NBC News Correspondent Morgan Chesky, presenting a gift to the family from Envoy Mortgage of a year’s worth of mortgage payments paid off for all of 2021 as part of their Gift of Home giveaway. The firefighters were also presented a steak breakfast and a gift card from Steak 48.

The gifts was presented as a way of saying “Thank You” to Rios for keeping the family afloat and becoming a frontline hero even despite the challenges presented during the pandemic.

“Most fireman don’t do it for a pat on the back or an “atta boy” type of compliment, they are there to get their hands dirty and what everyone does every day,” he said on “TODAY.”

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