Former firefighter saves own life by ripping leg off

Troy West ripped his leg off after being caught in the tires of a logging truck, then applied a tourniquet and called 911 for himself

By FireRescue1 Staff

LAKE KAPOWSIN, Wash. –– A logging truck driver used the skills he learned as a firefighter to save his own life.

KOMO News reported that Troy West was run over by his own truck as he was tightening the load on April 16. Once under the truck, West flipped to his back and realized most of his leg was already gone.

“I basically felt or heard the bones in my leg break,” he said. “It had already taken most of it off in the first set of duals, and that’s when I shoved it and ripped my leg off.”

Without that quick thinking, West knew it could have been a fatal accident.

“It was a split-second decision,” he said. “Either I get pulled into this and lose my life or I rip a limb off.”

West, who had worked as a firefighter and fire commissioner with the Orting Valley Fire and Rescue since he was 18, knew that help was too far out to wait. He began performing life-saving skills on his own injuries, directing his co-workers to construct a tourniquet for his leg out of a belt.

West then called the 911 for himself.

“Told dispatch and they go, ‘is the patient alert and oriented?’ And I go, ‘you’re talking to him. This is what I want.’”

Friend and fellow firefighter Jake Weigley said West is very lucky.

“He’s extremely fortunate just to receive the injury he did,” he said. “He could have easily just been killed on the spot.”

West is recuperating at home and will soon receive a prosthetic leg.

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