LAKE MARY, Fla. - Jacob Perez had had just completed his first shift as a firefighter after graduating two days earlier.
He was headed home when he came across a terrible crash but sprung into action while off duty, rendering aid until responding Clermont units arrived.
"Just coming out of training and being able to help out like that is something I never thought I was going to do," he said.
A car had crashed into a U-haul truck. Perez said he saw a man slumped over the airbag struggling to remain conscious.
"As soon as I saw that, I pulled over, I ran over to the car, I started talking to him," he explained. "He was pretty slurred."
Perez was able to climb into the car and stabilize the man's neck. Another off-duty firefighter from Saint Cloud also stopped to help. Moments later, the Clermont Fire Department arrived.
Firefighters had to use extreme measures to get the injured man out of the car.
"I was in the back, just holding the patient's neck until they can gain better access."
Perez says he stayed by the driver's side until he was taken to the hospital.
He says becoming a firefighter was what he was meant to do, and that serving the community is more than a job.
"It doesn't matter if you're on or off the clock when duty calls," he adds.
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