Tenn. Paramedics Honored for Aid to Trooper after Crash

The medics were moving a patient to another hospital when they came upon the crash


 
 

Robert L Wilson, News Sentinel | | Monday, March 19, 2012


ATHENS, Tenn. -- A whole series of occurrences had to line up just right to place Freddie Leslie and Kristi Graham in the right location to save a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper from a fiery death.

But they did line up, which Leslie, a paramedic and a lay minister at Freedom Baptist Church in Turtletown, Tenn., attributed to a heavenly plan beyond human comprehension.

"It was the way God wanted it to be," he said Friday following a presentation ceremony at the Athens headquarters of the pair's employer, American Medical Response, a national corporation based in Colorado.

God, Leslie said, "chose to use" him and Graham, and he "can't question that."

Late Monday and early Tuesday, according to Leslie, it had been planned to transfer a patient from a McMinn County medical facility to the University of Tennessee Medical Center via helicopter. But bad weather interfered, so he and Graham were summoned into service to move the patient by ambulance.

They delivered the young man to UT Medical Center and were about 10 minutes into their return trip early Tuesday on Interstate 40, he said, when they came upon the wreck. A tractor-trailer had smashed into the parked cruiser of THP Sgt. Lowell Russell near Walker Springs Road. Their training kicked in and Leslie and Graham immediately rushed to the aid of the trooper, who was unconscious and still belted in his burning cruiser. Two Knoxville police officers also responded to the scene and helped the trooper.

Even for someone familiar with scenes of mayhem, Leslie said, "I've never seen anything like this."

Leslie has a couple of burns on his face from pulling Russell from the cruiser.

Russell remained in critical condition Friday at UT Medical Center.

"We're here to do whatever we have to to save a life," Graham said.

Leslie is a 13-year veteran of emergency work, and he and Graham have been partners about two months, he said. Leslie said he is more than a little uncomfortable with the attention he and Graham have received for their response to the crash. He is ready, he said, "for it to be over with" and get back to his job of serving those who need him.



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, crash

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

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

Ebola Changes How North Carolina EMS Responds to Calls

Concern about virus spread leads to new protocols.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Oklahoma Hospitals Prepare for Ebola Cases

Training and preparation are keys for metro hospitals.
Watch It >


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

CDC Ebola Training for Clinicians

Students learn the complexities of working in bulky suits.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

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


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

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


More Product Videos >