Firefighter Walking A Week After Leg Run Over By SUV
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A firefighter has returned to his feet nearly a week after being hit by a car while responding to a call in Millcreek Canyon in Salt Lake County.
“Initially we were dispatched to help a hiker,” said Armen Jacobs, who works as a firefighter and paramedic for the Unified Fire Authority.
Jacobs said it was another day and another call for first responders on the narrow Millcreek Canyon Road.
They’re always on the giving end, except in very rare and unfortunate circumstances.
“We typically like to be the ones providing the care. Not to be the ones receiving the care,” said Jacobs.
He has been getting around with crutches and a boot on one leg.
Just five days earlier Jacobs was in Millcreek Canyon responding to the call of an injured hiker.
The fire engines were parked in the westbound lane. Jacobs said he was walking from one to the other when it happened.
“Everything happened so quick,” he said. “I remember the jolt of being hit – kind of like an electrical firing down my hip.”
Jacobs said an SUV came around the corner and skidded to a stop, slamming into him. The vehicle drove over one of his legs and then rested on top of the other.
“(It was) very painful after the initial shock,” he said.
Fellow firefighters and paramedics heard the call for help over the radio.
“The distress that came over the air on the radio was quite apparent,” said Ryan Love, UFA’s public information officer. We never like to hear that.”
Authorities describe the crash as an accident. Officials with the Unified Police Department said the driver would not face any citation or charge.
Still, Jacobs’ story was a painful reminder for drivers to watch out for first responders on the road.
“Take it slow and pay attention,” Love said. “I strongly urge that drivers be mindful of emergency personnel.”
Fortunately for Jacobs, his friends and colleagues were feet away and the first to respond.
“It’s a little surreal having them help you,” he said.
The car pinned Jacobs’ foot and ankle to the ground and fellow firefighters helped guide the driver off of his leg. Yet he somehow managed to limp away with only some torn ligaments and tendons and no broken bones.
“(I was) lucky. Just lucky,” Jacobs said.
The incident gave Jacobs and others a new appreciation for the first responders who so often put their lives on the line to help others.
“I’ll be taken care of, and hopefully I’ll be back with the crews in no time,” Jacobs said. “To be on the receiving end of that, and seeing your friends and peers, and those individuals you were just in an engine with, providing you that care… its rewarding.”
Jacobs suffered torn ligaments, but amazingly no broken bones. He was expected to be on crutches for up to six weeks.