Off-duty volunteer firefighter helps save 2 from burning car

Firefighter-EMT Rachel Itzoe was walking into her house and heard the crash; she and a friend ran to the scene and assessed the situation


The Aegis

HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. — One of Level Volunteer Fire Company's top EMS responders, who was off-duty, and a friend helped save two lives late Saturday night, fire company officials said.

At 11:56 p.m. Saturday, Level fire company was alerted for a vehicle crash and ensuing fire at the intersection of Routes 136 and 22, according to a press release from the fire company.

Moments before the alert, Level firefighter/EMT Rachel Itzoe was walking into her nearby house and heard the crash. She and a friend, Greg Frost, immediately ran the approximately 300 feet to the scene and assessed the situation, according to the release.

Itzoe and Frost found two critically injured victims still in the burning vehicle. Without hesitation Itzoe, who answered the second-most EMS calls for Level in 2016, made the immediate decision to pull both victims from the burning vehicle.

With the assistance of Frost, a former Marine and Eagle Scout, they pried the doors open and pulled both victims to safety, according to the release. Just seconds after the victims were pulled from the wreckage, the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames.

"I feel like it's not a big deal, I just did what I was trained to do," Itzoe said.

Crews from the Level Volunteer Fire Company and the Harford County Foundation arrived within four minutes and assisted with patient care. Firefighters extinguished the fire.

Troopers form the Maryland State Police Benson Barrack are investigating the accident.

The victims were taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Maryland Shock Trauma Center, both in Baltimore, by ground units from Level Volunteer Fire Company and Aberdeen Fire Department, respectively.

"If it were not for the quick thinking and selfless response to get the patients out of the car the outcome may not have turned out as well," Level fire company President Sandra Gallion said

Harford County Councilman Chad Shrodes, on Level fire company's Facebook page, said "We are so fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers who serve their community. Thank you!"

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