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‘It was go time': Off-duty Salt Lake City FF-EMT rescues driver from fiery crash

Justin Morrow, who was one day from returning to work full-time following an injury, rushed to help a man and two children after a rollover crash


Image/Salt Lake City Fire Department

By Leila Merrill

SALT LAKE CITY — An off-duty firefighter/engineer-EMT with the Salt Lake City Fire Department rescued a person from a vehicle crash and fire Monday.

Justin Morrow was driving with his family when he noticed a cloud of dust on a ramp. Bystanders were rushing to the scene of a rollover crash and grassfire.

Salt Lake City Fire Department Capt. Shaun Mumedy said the driver missed the curve and rolled off the ramp, throwing him from the vehicle. His two children were stuck in the backseat.

Morrow was on the last day of a months-long recovery from an Achilles tendon rupture. He said he didn’t even feel his injury: “It was go time.”

Two bystanders got the children out of the “twisted” car seats just as the engine caught fire.

Morrow ran to the driver. He took the legs of the driver and asked bystanders to hold the patient’s head and another to hold the torso. He said he would not normally move a patient with such serious injuries, however, “If we hadn’t made that decision, the fire most definitely would have overrun and potentially killed the patient.”

On-duty EMS providers arrived and transported all three patients to a hospital. Firefighters arrived and quickly put out the car fire and brush fire.

Morrow said the bystanders deserve credit for their actions.

“It was the most important part of this whole scenario, was people just acting and doing something,” he said.

The crash is being investigated, but preliminary information showed speed may have been a factor.