Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics credit the assistance of two citizens in the rescue of a neighbor. On Friday, October 30, 2009, at about 3:15 PM, Firefighters from the Northview Fire/EMS Station #816, responded to a reported pedestrian emergency with a victim trapped underneath the rear wheels of a van. Witnesses reported that an adult male, approximately 60 years-of-age, was involved in mechanical repairs of a van and was working underneath the vehicle. The emergency parking brake gave way and the van started to roll dragging the victim with it. Firefighters responded and arrived quickly in the 16300 block of Lea Drive in Bowie. Fire Lieutenant John Lazo describes the events upon arrival, “We arrived on the scene and found a man that had his two legs underneath the rear wheels of a work truck. There were two citizens trying to use a hydraulic floor-jack to raise the vehicle. Fire Fighter/Medic John Ulmschneider went to the rear of the vehicle to assist raising the truck off of the injured man. The floor-jack was just at the limit of lift and Fire Fighter Ulmschneider managed to raise it enough for me to remove the citizen from the underside of the truck.”
The patient was assessed by personnel on the scene and transported by Bowie Ambulance 839 (Free State) to a local trauma center with injuries to both ankles. The Northview Paramedic Ambulance was handling another medical emergency requiring paramedic services at the time of this call and not available to respond, however, the injuries sustained were not life threatening and handled by the basic life support ambulance crew.
The Northview Fire/EMS Station 816 is a new facility and had just celebrated their Grand Opening a week before. The community members on the scene of this incident praised the firefighters for their fast response and quick actions to assist the victim. One citizen stated to the firefighters, “You got here very fast and I am very happy that there was a firehouse close by.”
Fire Lieutenant Lazo also commended the two neighbors that used the floor-jack and initiated the process of lifting the van off of the victim’s legs. Fire Lt. Lazo stated, “The actions of the two neighbors using the floor-jack relieved the pressure of the weight of the van from the victims legs and quite possibly prevented further injury and loss of extremities.”