A courageous rescue

Published 8:07 pm Saturday, November 27, 2010

The photos of the accident are arresting. A white sedan sits wrecked beside a large steel traffic light pole. The sedan’s front end is smashed into the shape of the pole, an impression left when the driver slammed into the pole during an accident on Bridge Road at its intersection with Plummer Boulevard on Wednesday morning.

Members of Suffolk’s Department of Fire and Rescue respond to similar accidents every day. The work they and the Nansemond-Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad do to rescuing and providing emergency care for folks who have been in vehicular crashes and other dangerous mishaps is one of many reasons to be proud to live in Suffolk. Suffolk’s emergency services personnel, both paid and volunteer, put themselves at risk with every call they answer, and their commitment to the community is clear with every rescue they participate in.

Wednesday’s accident, however, stands out from that respectable norm.

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When fire and rescue personnel arrived on the scene, the car was on fire, and the driver was trapped inside, though he could not be seen at the time because of the thick smoke within the vehicle. At that point, one emergency crew began working to extricate the man from the vehicle, while another worked simultaneously to extinguish the fire. Soon the man was rescued from the car and flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Saving a trapped man from a burning car — that takes courage. And it’s more than enough reason for us to take a moment out of our normal schedules to say thanks to the brave men and women who serve (many without pay) Suffolk’s residents as firefighters and rescue workers. Good job. We’re proud to have you working to keep us safe.