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Off-Duty West Hartford Firefighter Saves Man Trapped in Burning Vehicle

FIrefighter/paramedic Steeve Parent rescued a man from this overturned vehicle on April 19. Photo credit: Cara D'antonio

An off-duty firefighter paramedic came across a truck on a Massachusetts highway Friday that had crashed, rolled over, and was on fire with an occupant trapped inside, and helped pull the man to safety and successfully performed CPR to restore his breathing.

By Ronni Newton

An unidentified motorist has survived and is recovering from a rollover and vehicle fire thanks to the speedy and selfless actions of an off-duty West Hartford firefighter/paramedic.

Firefighter/paramedic Steeve Parent was on a day trip, traveling in Massachusetts Friday morning with his fiancee, Cara D’antonio, when they came across an overturned pick-up truck that had gone off the road and was on fire, according to Capt. Jarrad Smith.

Parent was on I-395, just north of the intersection with the Massachusetts Turnpike near the towns of Auburn and Oxford, MA. Emergency responders were not yet on scene, he said.

Parent stopped to assess the situation, and a “small group of panicked bystanders,” who had witnessed the crash, told Parent that they believed a man was still trapped inside the burning vehicle.

Parent was not wearing protective gear, but that did not stop him from springing into action and approaching the vehicle, where the flames were beginning to extend in to the passenger compartment. He could see that a person was trapped inside, upside down, Smith said.

The man, Parent reported, appeared to be seriously injured and was unconscious, and his face had turned blue.

Parent, with assistance from another passing motorist, was able to extricate the man from the burning truck and pull him to safety.

Parent immediately initiated CPR an artificial respiration, and reported that the victim’s color began to improve and he began breathing and regained consciousness.

When emergency responders arrived at the scene, the victim “was sitting up and communicating,” Parent reported.

“Firefighter Parent’s selfless actions reflect great credit upon the men and women of the West Hartford Fire Department,” Smith said. “We wish the victim involved a speedy recovery.”

“I am incredibly proud of his brave and selfless actions,” Chief Greg Priest said upon learning of Parent’s rescue. Town Manager Matt Hart echoed Priest’s words.

[Editor’s Note: This story has been updated. An earlier version indicated that the crash was on the Massachusetts Turnpike, not I-395.]

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6 Comments

  • Thank you Stevan for stopping and running into action. I have a new admiration for medics and fire fighters. Steeve shield is from flying debris from the burning car while we worked on the man. While we screened and yelled for help everyone backed away. The man was breathing and I could not watch him died. Thank you again for stopping and helping us carry him to safety. A true hero!!!

  • The “other passing motorist” was a CNA with 17 years experience. She is the one who ran to the vehicle while others waited. She performed chest compressions while others stabilized the victim’s neck. She was the one whose eyes the victim looked into when he took his first breath. She was the one whose scrubs were covered in mud and blood. She is the hero and her name is Kimberly Rockwood, she lives in Webster Massachusetts.

    • So long story short, steeve went into a burning vehicle and this women was a bystander who didn’t go into the burning vehicle…

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