Wednesday 13 December 2017

Nate Tracey: Video shows fireman pull unconscious driver from burning vehicle

The car had collided with a telegraph pole on the side of the road

Charlie Atkin

Video shows the moment a fireman pulled an unconscious driver from a burning vehicle.

Nate Tracey, 27, a Chief in the York Township Fire Department, Pennsylvania, can be seen dashing towards the burning car before rescuing the driver inside.

The back end of the car was engulfed in flames, with the front crumpled from its collision with the telegraph pole.

The York Daily Record reports that a bystander had already emptied a fire extinguisher on the vehicle to no avail.

After arriving on the scene, Chief Tracey recalls being unable to spot a patient, meaning he had to still be in the car.

"I scanned the whole area, thinking, 'Where's the patient at?" he said.

Despite training that encourages firefighters to equip themselves with all the appropriate gear before such a rescue, Chief Tracey only picked up his coat in order to shield the driver's face and upper body from the flames.

Seeing the man's feet inside the car, the fireman pulled the driver once it was established he was not entangled in the wreckage.

"I leaned in and just pulled him out," Tracey said. "That's the standard fire service drag ... The adrenaline certainly helped."

One of Chief Tracey's colleagues, Lieutenant Matt Leonard told the York Daily Record how rare the situation is. 

"I've been in the fire service for 14 years, and I can only ever remember two times when I was on the scene for an mva (motor vehicle accident) with entrapment and fire," Leonard said. "This was a true life emergency."

The driver, identified by police as Greg Fabie, spent Monday and Tuesday in hospital in satisfactory condition.

Police say they are still investigating the crash.

Independent News Service

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