Orange County

‘This is what we train for’: Orlando firefighters recall moment they saved woman from burning car

ORLANDO, Fla. — A team of Orlando firefighters is reflecting on the moment they saved a woman who was trapped inside a burning car.

The dramatic rescue happened during National EMS Week, a time to thank first responders who put their lives on the line every day.


The tower 15 crew with the Orlando Fire Department jumped into action Monday when a car that crashed caught fire on Northlake Parkway and Narcoossee Road.

“This is it, this is what we train for,” said firefighter/paramedic Danny Crocker.

READ: Orlando firefighter gives up mask to save woman trapped in burning car

Engineer Scott Hammond said they could see the glow of the fire before they arrived on the scene, and as they got closer, they saw a woman trapped inside the car calling for help.

“That’s what made the call a little bit more stressful, actually, when you have a live victim that’s expressing, ‘Get me out of here, I can’t breathe,’” said paramedic Lt. Bassel Ibrahim.

The firefighters said it was a team effort to tackle the flames while Ibrahim checked on the woman.

Read: Cyclist hit by car going 50 mph reunited with Orlando firefighters credited with saving his life

As spoke pumped out around them, Ibrahim said he made a split-second decision to remove his airpack and give it to the woman so she could breathe.

He said if he hadn’t done it, the outcome would have been much worse.

“I can guarantee that she would not have made it from just suffocating, smoke inhalation,” Ibrahim said.

READ: Orlando firefighters rescue ducklings from storm drain

They said that 30 seconds to a minute after they got the woman out, the flames got even more intense.

“We found out that the victim was the stepdaughter of one of our own the next day. All right, like I got goosebumps, so it made this even more personal,” Ibrahim said.

The woman is recovering at a local hospital.

Ibrahim said the rescue was the first time he’d used an airpack on a civilian, but that he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.

“We are not heroes, we simply just did our job,” he said.

Photos: Orlando firefighter gives up own mask to save entrapped woman

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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