Smiles Behind the Shield: Paramedic rescues man from car fire

SPONSORED CONTENT: Smiles Behind the Shield

SUMMERDALE, Ala. (WKRG) — An OnStar accident call turned into a dangerous, fiery rescue. We honor MedStar Paramedic Steve Crossland with our Smiles Behind the Shield Award for his acts of heroism.

Catina Bergman and Steve Crossland were in the right place at the right time. Crossland said, “That day, I mean it’s one of those accidents that you don’t forget.”

Bergman nominated her coworker for the award after that night. She explained how the call came in: “We was going down 32 and was at 95, and we were turning around to go back the other way to try and find it when we saw something red in the field, and my partner told me to stop he sees something out there.”

Catina took videos and pictures the next day showing pieces of the truck and scorched ground where it stopped.

“And he said ‘that’s a fire’ and sent me back to get the fire extinguisher, and when I came back he had already had our patient out and on the ground, and he took the fire extinguisher and went back to check if there was anyone else in the vehicle,” Bergman said.

She continued and said, “The vehicle was fully involved, and there was black smoke inside the cab of the vehicle that was upside down. My partner had broke into the glass and pulled him out while the smoke was inside the vehicle.”

Bergman ran back to the ambulance, grabbing supplies for the patient. It was parked about on the side of the road, out of sight from her partner and the patient. That’s when she heard explosions.

She said, “I thought something had happened to him, and it was pretty scary, but when I got back there, him and [an] Elberta police officer had moved our patient farther back from the accident.”

Speaking of what happened, Crossland said, “Someone was screaming for me, and I was coming to help, so it’s what we do.”

His actions that day were heroic, but when we asked him about it, he said, “To me, I mean it’s great that people will recognize it, but for me, it’s just another day, it’s just a job, it’s what I do.”

This is why he’s our Smiles Behind the Shield recipient. Bergman said, “He doesn’t get a lot of recognition for what he does and he doesn’t like to be in the spotlight, but he is a great paramedic, he’s a great teacher, and to watch him do that and risk his life when he has family and children and grandchildren, to do that and not think twice about it, and then we get back in the car when the call is over and it’s like it’s no big deal it’s another day, and I’m like no that was a big deal you risked your life to save that young man.”

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