A Cookeville police officer and a paramedic are being praised for their life-saving actions on after rescuing an unconscious driver from a burning vehicle.
Officer David Baker was the first to arrive at the scene on West 9th Street after responding to a call about a car crash, and first encountered the flaming vehicle. EMS Paramedic Justin Remillard was right behind him.
Body camera footage showed Officer Baker first attempt to put out the fire using a fire extinguisher, until EMS Paramedic Justin Remillard discovered that the driver was trapped in the vehicle.
As the two men were trying to open the door, one of the car’s tires exploded. Eventually, even with the risk to their own safety, the two men were able to force the door open, cut the driver’s seatbelt, and extricate him from the car.
Baker recounted, “I heard one of the paramedics. I guess it was Justin, say, ‘Hey, he’s still inside.’ So, I switched from fighting the fire to ‘Hey, we got to get this guy out of the vehicle.'”
“He came around, and we worked together to hold the fire back long enough to get him out of the vehicle,” Remillard added.
The Cookeville Police Department posted about the incident on Facebook, commending the first responders’ bravery.
“Both Officer Baker and Paramedic Rimillard showed great bravery by putting their own safety aside as they courageously took action to help save the life of the driver,” the department wrote on Facebook.
The two first responders are were happy with how they worked together.
“I’m sure we’ll have a strong working relationship,” Baker told News 4. “He’s got my back. I’ve got his.”
“I’m sure if we get in the situation again, I know I can count on him,” Remillard said.
According to Fox 17, the driver is doing OK. The details of the crash are still being investigated.