Three Dallas police officers are being praised as heroes after they managed to save a man’s life having been involved in a car crash that saw his vehicle burst into flames.
The rescue, which involved the trio along with regular civilians, happened last weekend after a multi-vehicle accident.
The officers’ body cameras captured the harrowing rescue.
Initially, the officers approaching the scene of the wreck saw a burning car but did not realize anyone was still trapped inside until a member of the public rushed up to tell them.
Three Dallas police officers are being hailed as heroes for helping save the life of a man who was involved in fiery car crash last weekend in the city
It was then that two officers, Jonathan Calder and Jonathan Martinez, initially arrived and ran to help other Dallas residents pull the man out of the car.
‘We saw a large plume of smoke coming from the intersection and thought that was something we needed to check on. Immediately when we ran up to the vehicle, I looked inside. The car was almost engulfed completely. There was a man, he seemed unconscious,’ Calder said in a YouTube video posted by Dallas Police Department.
‘When I entered the vehicle, the smoke immediately took all vision away. It was pitch black darkness. It was hot like an oven, the car was melting and dripping onto me. And the seatbelt wouldn’t come off.’
His partner, Martinez, continued the story: ‘I jumped in there for a second, trying to get in. I felt something drip on me. Kind of inhaled a bunch of smoke. Right at that point I had to jump back out, just could feel the heat initially. Then my partner went back in…’
Officers Jonathan Calder was among the first to arrive\ at the scene to find a car engulfed in flames
Officer Jonathan Martinez described the intense heat that was coming from the flames
Officer Israel Banales was traveling in a separate patrol car but stopped to help his colleagues
As Calder and Martinez were attempting the rescue, a third officer, Israel Banales, arrived on scene to also help.
‘He [the victim] was kind of waking up and going unconscious… so, the passenger door we were able to get open and we were trying to say, ‘hey buddy, you gotta help us push up so we can pull you out the passenger door,” Banales said.
‘His foot got stuck. And we were just pulling on him… I remember hearing, I believe it was my partner, saying, ‘we gotta get him out… he’s gonna die if we don’t pull him out,” Martinez said. ‘At that point we were just trying to pull him out of the car and get him away from everything.’
The officers were helped by some bystanders who smashed the car’s windows, while others poured water onto the flames.
The officers’ body cameras captured the harrowing rescue. The unusual angle occurred after one of the cameras fell onto the ground
The three officers struggled to pull him out but were helped by bystanders who helped smash the cars window while another provided a knife to cut the man’s seat belt
The victim was finally able to be pulled to safety and taken to hospital where he was treated for serious burns
Just as the officers were struggling to pull the man out, one of the residents standing nearby came to their own rescue and gave them a knife to cut the seatbelt and pull the man to safety.
‘As soon as we cut the seatbelt it became so smooth to pull him out,’ Martinez said\.
The man was placed on the ground where it was established that he was thankfully still breathing.
He was transported to a hospital with major burns to his body.
‘The citizens showed up that day. I told the citizen there if it wasn’t for y’all, we wouldn’t have been able to take this on alone. Three officers alone pulling on this guy wouldn’t have made it. It was the combination of the citizens putting their lives on the line, getting close to that car, helping pull the gentleman out of the car using water, using their resources that they had,’ Martinez said.
Calder added: ‘Without the citizens of Dallas, we wouldn’t have been able to successfully save him. So I thank them for that.’
Another shot of the car shows just how serious the situation was as the fire quickly took hold
All three heroic officers are caught on camera showing their relief at exhaustion at the end of the rescue