Six Firefighters Who Rescue Teenager from Serious Crash

Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized on Friday the crews of Rescue 21 and Squad 2 who rescued a 15-year-old girl who was trapped in a wrecked car.

Captain Frank Soto, Driver Richard Lovato, Firefighter Justin Cheney, Firefighter Jose Gomez, Lt. Derek C De Baca and Driver Richard Sanchez received this week’s Friday’s Hero award. Every Friday Mayor Berry and Public Safety Director Darren White recognize at least one public safety employee who has gone above the call of duty.

On Jan. 13, a 15 year-old girl was driving on Alameda NW near Corrales Road when she swerved to avoid hitting another vehicle. Her car struck a 6-inch steel pole filled with concrete knocking it down on top of the car. The pole pushed the floor board up into the driver’s compartment trapping the girl’s leg between the poll and the dash board. The circulation to the girl’s leg was cut off.

Rescue 21 and Squad 2, AFD’s Heavy Rescue unit, were called to the scene. The firefighters covered the girl, talked to her to keep her calm and used cutting tools to free her leg. It took about 45 minutes to free the girl from the wreckage.

The teen was transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital. Physicians were able to treat the teen and it is anticipated that their efforts combined with those of the firefighters will mean she will maintain normal use of her leg once her recovery is complete.

“Albuquerque can rest easier knowing we have excellent firefighters working around the clock to respond in a time of need,” Mayor Berry said. “These firefighters’ efforts prevented what could have been a significantly life altering injury to this young lady.”