Pittsburgh paramedic Jon Atkinson was on his way to the scene of the bridge collapse when he heard other first responders were facing an issue. They were having difficulty getting victims out of the ravine because it’s so steep. But Atkinson knew he had a tool for the job: the four-wheel-drive pickup truck he bought a few months ago.
“They were down there, they had everybody taken care of,” he says, “and the question was, ‘How are we going to get these people out of here?’” Other rescue vehicles weren’t able to maneuver that terrain, but Atkinson’s truck could. Thanks to it, he was able to rescue a woman who needed to get out quickly and was loaded onto the bed of his pickup. Another victim who wasn’t injured, but was worried about being late to work, hopped up front with the paramedic and they took a cautious route out.
"We don't really train in off-road driving,” Atkinson explains, “but it's just understood that sometimes you have to do some unorthodox things or think outside the box to meet the needs of the incident and that's what we did today.”
Photo Credit: Getty