Five Atlanta police officers are being hailed as heroes after rescuing two people from a burning car earlier this week, according to WXIA-TV.
In a Facebook post, the Atlanta Police Department wrote that their officers responded to an accident on Wednesday morning. They discovered a vehicle “literally wrapped around the support pillar” of an overpass on Interstate 85. Police realized there were two people in the vehicle unable to exit because of their injuries.
The post said five officers — Derek Daniel, Elijah McCall, Michal Skillman, Andre Valentine, and Bill Brooks — jumped into action. They used fire extinguishers to try to put out the flames and broke the car’s windows in an effort to rescue the occupants. The Atlanta Fire Department then arrived soon after and fully extinguished the fire and took the driver and passenger to the hospital.
The fire department said that if police “did not act in the manner that they did, the occupants of the vehicle would have been burned alive.”
“This was an extreme act of bravery, heroism, and excellent critical thinking displayed by these fine Atlanta Police Officers,” police said.
The department released body camera footage of the rescue:
Part of the job
At a news conference, the officers credited their response to their training from the Atlanta Police Department and characterized their actions as part of the job.
“It’s not always about catching bad guys,” McCall said. “We also go out and save lives.”
Daniel said such actions are part of “being a first responder.”
Brooks said, “I signed up to help people and that’s what I’m going to always do.”
Hector Quiroz, the father of one of the victims of the crash, told WXIA his son is “lucky to be alive.” He thanked the officers for their actions.
"I want to say thank you from the heart for them because if it wasn't for them, that car would have exploded,” he said. “We wouldn't be here today."
Shown footage of the rescue, Quiroz said, "This is unbelievable, the work that they do just to save a person. God was with them, God was with them."
"That's how God works," he added.