FDNY Paramedic Honored for Wreck Rescues

By TOM LIDDY
Story by The New York Post

FDNY paramedic Craig Roeder tossed aside all thought of his own safety to crawl under a car that had flipped over on the Van Wyck Expressway and was hanging on a guardrail, leaving one teen trapped beneath the wreckage and another inside.

The Dodge Charger had careened into an embankment last Dec. 5, killing two youths and injuring three others. The twisted wreckage teetered precariously on the guardrail.

"At that point, there was no thought of it [his own safety] in my head," said the humble hero, who is assigned to Station 54 in Springfield Gardens, Queens.

Roeder, 34, first treated a teenager who was on the ground beneath the car, and dragged him to safety.

Then he noticed movement inside the car and realized there was another victim there.

Roeder sprang back into action, crawling through the shattered rear windshield, past two bodies, to reach the driver.

He went to work keeping the victim's breathing passage open and his neck immobilized as firefighters delicately cut away the twisted steel. Twenty minutes later, the driver and Roeder were freed.

Meanwhile, Roeder's partner, Kenneth Silas, had run up the embankment to treat a fifth victim, this one tossed from the vehicle.

"A job like that definitely sticks in your mind," Roeder said. "It's horrific because people died, but it's also rewarding because we were able to save people as well."

Roeder was nominated for a Post Liberty Medal in the Bravest category by the FDNY.

tom.liddy@nypost.com

Republished with permission from the New York Post

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