NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A Nashville firefighter who saved lives during the 2010 flood in Nashville was honored for his heroism in a unique way on Monday.
Gary Hargis was told he was getting together for dinner with his family at Plantation Pub in Bellevue. It turned out to something different.
Hargis is the first to receive the Montana Outlaw BBQ Hero Award.
"Gary's name really came up and he was the one that we wanted to nominate for this cause," said Jim Habacker, who nominated Hargis.
The nationwide search involved nominating a local hero who also loves to barbecue. Hargis' friend, Habacker, said it couldn't have been a better match.
"He loves to barbecue. He loves being in competitions," Habacker said.
The community considers him a hero for rescuing people during the 2010 flood in Nashville. He's too humble to take credit for his life-saving actions.
"Everybody's home was in danger and everybody helped. It wasn't just me. It was everybody here," Hargis said.
Montana Outlaw BBQ is a competitive barbecuing team. The BBQ Hero project is their way of giving back and paying it forward.
They surprised Hargis with a new grill, meat, sauces and seasonings. It's a moment the firefighter of three decades will never forget.
"I can tell you this I'm humbled because of the respect I have for all these people here and I really appreciate that," Hargis said.