While en route during a patient transfer, EMT Hiram Sanchez came upon a traffic collision involving three cars; no other emergency vehicles were on scene. Sanchez quickly identified four patients, one who was unconscious and gasping for breath. He immediately grabbed the airway equipment bag so he could provide patient ventilation. He called for backup and continued helping the patient as well as the other victims involved.
When Sanchez noticed that one of the victims was trapped in the car and the adjacent car was on fire, he returned to the ambulance to obtain the fire extinguisher. He then positioned himself on the passenger side of the vehicle, closest to the fire, and used his body as a shield to protect the patient and a citizen who offered to help. The patient was quickly pulled from the car and away from danger.
Sanchez’s management of this scene ensured the safety of the victims and bystanders and directly resulted in the patient being freed from the vehicle, likely saving their life. “When Hiram came upon the multi-vehicle crash, he did not hesitate for a moment to do what he could to save lives: his actions were selfless and heroic,” said Brandon Greene, operations manager.
Sanchez was recently honored as an American Ambulance Association 2023 Stars of Life recipient. “I appreciate being selected for this recognition,” Sanchez said. “I am glad I was in the right place at the right time to be able to render aid and help ensure the safety of everyone involved in the accident.” Sanchez has also been nominated for a California Emergency Medical Services Authority EMS Medal of Valor for his heroic actions.