JACKSONVILLE — Quick thinking and fast actions by two Jacksonville Fire Department employees, Madison Johnson and Cory Dahms, prevented a potential tragedy as a JFD ambulance that was being used to transfer a patient from a Jacksonville hospital to a Tyler hospital erupted in flames around 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
The incident occurred on U.S. Highway 69 North in front of the North Cherokee Water Supply Company in the Maydelle community.
“We noticed smoke coming from the front of the (ambulance) and by the time we pulled over the cab and the compartment were completely filled with smoke,” Madison Johnson said.
Johnson was attending to the unnamed and uninjured patient at the time of the incident while Dahms was driving the vehicle.
“We had to work fast to first get the patient out and then to continue their treatment,” Johnson explained. “After that was taken care of we had just enough time to get some of the major pieces of equipment out of the unit before the flames (erupted).”
Johnson stated that at $30,000 worth of medical equipment was removed undamaged prior to the fire sweeping through the compartment.
Fire units from the North Cherokee Volunteer Fire Department and the Bullard Fire Department extinguished the blaze.