Off-Duty Paramedic Saves Driver Who Hit Him

Despite injuries, he dragged a man across three lanes of traffic after his minivan caught fire


 
 

The Toronto Star | | Monday, November 26, 2012


TORONTO -- Geoff MacBride remembers the deafening crash -- and the horrifying feeling of flying through the air.

Then he heard the screams of bystanders as the minivan that had just hit his SUV burst into flames, its driver trapped inside.

Without a second thought, the off-duty paramedic sprinted toward the burning van to try to save the life of the driver who had just endangered his own.

MacBride, 37, pulled out the driver and dragged him across three lanes of traffic, fearful the van would explode at the crash scene near Woodbine Ave. and O'Connor Dr. Friday afternoon.

"It's amazing that I'm alive, that's all I keep thinking," MacBride said Sunday.

There was no pause, no second thought in MacBride's mind. His colleagues have called his actions "heroic." Two days after the accident, the hero is a bit stiff.

"I'm fairly immobile, I can't turn my neck, I can't lift my arm," said MacBride, recalling the shock waves the impact of the crash sent down his spine. "But you know, I will live, I will get better. I'm just happy to be alive."

Staff Sgt. James Hung confirmed the 34-year-old Toronto driver of the van was charged with impaired driving. He has since been released from custody.

Meanwhile, in the apartment MacBride shares with his cat, there was a parade of family and friends Sunday night, amazed at the paramedic's feats. Praise also came from fellow paramedics, like Adam Hobbs.

"Most people, including myself, would be checking ourselves to make sure we're still in one piece," Hobbs said. "Meanwhile (MacBride's) out there saving the guy who almost killed him. It's incredible, really."

The collision happened at about 5:30 p.m. Friday when MacBride was stopped, waiting to make a left turn.

"I saw him coming at me. The last thing I remember thinking is, 'Wow, he's going awfully fast,' " MacBride said. "Then I went flying up in the air."

The frame of MacBride's SUV buckled, and the back of his truck was now in the front. He was half a block from where he was waiting to turn before the minivan plowed into his SUV.

When he stopped, MacBride looked down and saw that "everything is in place," and then sprinted toward the flaming van.

He said he was thankful the driver door on the van opened, describing how he went into "work mode" and dragged the driver across the street.

As if saving the other driver's life wasn't enough, MacBride had a second opportunity to be a hero that day.

Fire crews had already extinguished the blaze, and left the scene, but the smouldering fire later reignited while MacBride was being treated in a nearby ambulance.

MacBride, who is president of the Toronto Paramedic Association, was the first to notice and the first to leap out of the ambulance with a fire extinguisher in hand.

"That's what we do. That's why people call us when they're having a bad day," he laughed, adding it was "kind of funny because the fire guys had to come back twice to put the same fire out."



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Shooting, EMS Audio

Edited audio from the Parliament Hill incident.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Illinois Ambulance Service on Chopping Block

Peoria Heights EMS depends on property tax vote.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters, Medics Drill for Ebola

Lexington firefighters and medics prepare for possible patients.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Mid-South EMTs Prepare for Ebola

Mid-South EMTs are certified for service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Shooting Incident

Solider is shot by gunman at national memorial in Ottawa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS Tailgating

Rigs converted for football.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >