Meansville, GA – When a veteran fireman witnessed a horrific car accident, he jumped into action and did everything in his power to save the victim. But even though his actions saved a woman's life, the police officer who finally made it to the scene thanked the fireman by arresting him and throwing him in jail.
Rick Rickerson, 56, joined the Griffin Fire Department in 1985, and he has devoted his life to saving lives. He told 11Alive News that when he witnessed a car flipping over on the highway after its driver lost control, his immediately acted on instinct.
"My training pretty much kicked in as soon as I witnessed the wreck," Rickerson said. "You go into the mode of firefighter when you see this happen. Many times, the worst thing you can do is nothing."
The driver of the car, Rebecca Buchanan, was trapped and not breathing when Rickerson reached her. Other good Samaritans stopped their cars on the side of the highway and rushed to help Rickerson help Buchanan from her car.
In addition to administering CPR to help Buchanan breathe, Rickerson also called 911 multiple times and gives the dispatcher clear and concise reports of what was happening, and how police could help.
"This 911? Pike County? This is Rick Rickerson, I'm a retired battalion chief, Griffin Fire Department. I'm on the scene of an overturned single vehicle with a single occupant, unresponsive at this time," Rickerson said on the first call.
The second call was made after Rickerson cleared Buchanan's airway so that she could breathe. "No first responders are here yet; can you advise your officer in charge of fire responding that Rick Rickerson is on the scene and I would suggest them requesting life flight," he said.
The dispatcher then relayed the news over the radio to a state trooper who responded, "I'm actually a trooper with the state patrol; I'm in training, so I'm kinda off. If you have access to life flight, I would definitely have them en route."