'He's Still Inside': Paramedic and Officer Team Up in Tense Rescue of Man Trapped in Burning Car
Early on the morning of Sept. 27, Officer David Baker with the Cookeville Police Department in Tennessee and paramedic Justin Remillard met and quickly formed a bond.
They now know they work well together and can trust one another, as it was through their teamwork that they were able to rescue an unconscious driver from a car engulfed in flames.
Remillard and Baker were dispatched to the same accident where a vehicle was on fire at 12:30 a.m. on that Monday morning on 9th Street in Cookeville.
The paramedic was spraying down the car with a fire extinguisher and told the approaching officer that someone was still inside.
“I heard one of the paramedics, I guess it was Justin, say, ‘Hey, he’s still inside,'” Baker later told WSMV-TV.
“So, I switched from fighting the fire to like, ‘We got to get this guy out of the vehicle.'”
Baker said he also heard the unconscious driver gasp, which increased the urgency of their efforts.
“That’s when, like, overdrive set in, like, ‘Hey, we got to get this guy out now or he’s gonna, he’s gonna suffocate,'” Baker recalled.
As Remillard managed to get the door open, the tire on the driver’s side exploded, according to WHBQ-TV. Baker started cutting the seatbelt, and both men managed to lift the driver and get him away from the car.
“He came around, and we worked together to hold the fire back long enough to get him out of the vehicle,” Remillard said.
Baker’s bodycam footage, released by the Cookeville Police Department on Wednesday, showed the tense rescue as it unfolded.
“Both Officer Baker and Paramedic Rimillard showed great bravery by putting their own safety aside as they courageously took action to help save the life of the driver,” the department wrote.
They said the man is recovering and the cause of the crash is under investigation — but one thing for sure is that now these two know they can tackle just about any situation together.
“I’m sure we’ll have a strong working relationship,” Baker said, laughing. “He’s got my back. I’ve got his.”
“I’m sure if we ever get into this situation again, I know I can count on him,” Remillard added.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.