FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - Nine Flagler County firefighter-paramedics were given lifesaving awards for their April 13th rescue of a UPS tandem trailer driver.
A Flagler County official says that crews were called out to a rollover crash on Interstate 95 (I-95) and worked four hours to extricate the driver, Scott Breidenstein, from the crushed cabin -- a mere 24 inches of space to maneuver.
Flager Rescue Chief Don Petito told the Board of County Commissioners that "When crews arrived on scene, they saw what they believed to be a fatal accident due to the wreckage." He went on to say that "The cab was positioned on its roof, crushed by the impact with only 24 inches between the floor board and the roof of the cab.”
After showing pictures and a tangle of trees and metal, Petito went on to say that "Crews had to first stabilize the large vehicle so that it would not shift during operations,” Petito said. “They began to assess the patient and figure a way to get him out without crushing him or causing more harm.”
Rescuers, with the help of paratech threaded struts, were able to support the truck enough to remove pieces of the cab.
“The rescue crews tunneled into the cab of the truck to not only treat the patient, but to calm him and let him know what was going on,” Petito said, noting that a paramedic had to start IV medications for the driver while upside down.
Diane Morris, the supervisor of Breidenstein, had chocked back tears and spoke at the award presentation. She said that Breidenstein completed rehabilitation and was recently married.
"I was working that night when the call came in that we had a truck in the woods, and it was four hours of wondering whether he was alive or dead,” said Morris.
Morris went on to say that “You all did a tremendous job … on behalf of UPS, we are indebted to you. It doesn’t always turn out like this.”
Each firefighter-paramedic received a Hurst Green Cross Award and Paratech Rescue Award. The awards were presented by: Lt. John Keppler, Sean Walker, Alex Patton, Kyle Lockwood, Ty Epling, Kevin Buckler, Dan VanDeusen, Richard Steinhardt, and Kris Kendra.