HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – It’s what they’re trained to do; that’s why firefighters and paramedics often shy away from recognition when they save lives.
But Monday, six Midstate emergency responders were called heroes by the city they serve.
Among the swearings-in of a fire chief, deputy chief, and new firefighters – among the awards for community service, military service, and calling for help – came recognition for saving a life.
“This wasn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill call that we went on that day,” said Dave Schock, a firefighter in Harrisburg for more than 12 years.
That day was one Schock hasn’t forgotten, and now city leaders are making sure he knows they haven’t either.
He’s one of four firefighters and two paramedics who received heroism awards stemming from a call back in February.
“Initially, he was in pretty bad shape,” Schock said.
The “he” was a worker at Consolidated Scrap Resources on Cameron Street.
“All we know is he was unloading vehicles off a trailer, waiting for the crane to pick them up,” said Lt. Michael Feldman, also one of the first on scene that day.
Something had slipped; the man was pinned from the waist down between pieces of cars and the trailer.
“Quite honestly,” said Feldman, remembering pulling up to the scrap yard, “my first thoughts were that he was going to be killed, because they said a person pinned under a car.”
Medics rushed to his aid and firefighters pried the vehicles apart. He survived.
“In the hours that we spend away from our families doing training and different stuff like that, it pays off in the end,” Feldman said.
The recognition isn’t important to them.
“Him being alive is our heroism award,” he said, “the fact that he’s still living.”
“This is our job, this is what we do,” Schock added. “We had a successful outcome that day. We’re proud of that, and we have to get ready for the next call.”
That’s what they did: As the ceremony wrapped up, engines rolled out of the station, sirens blaring, on their way to do what they do.