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Student Member Pulls Drivers to Safety

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March 4, 2014

Dennis Carhart Photo
Dennis Carhart, right, accepts a certificate of excellence award for his lifesaving efforts from fellow AARC member and Carrington College program director, Stephen Tarnoczy, BS, RRT-SDS, RPSGT.

AARC student member Dennis Carhart was heading home from evening classes at Carrington College in Las Vegas, NV, one day last month when he came upon an accident scene. From the looks of things, a small truck had just collided with a FedEx truck.

“When I arrived upon the scene, I noticed a small amount of flames under the vehicles, so I stopped to see if everyone was okay,” says Carhart. “I have a background in EMS, so with that training I stopped because I feel it is my duty to act and offer my assistance if needed.”

Other bystanders were already calling 911, but no one was attempting to help the drivers, both of whom appeared to be trapped inside their vehicles.

“The driver of the smaller vehicle was trying to get out, but the door was jammed so I helped pull the door open,” says the RT student.  “I helped him over to a safe area near the curb and asked him if he was injured and he denied any injuries.”

When he looked up he saw flames approaching his own vehicle so he quickly moved it out of the way and then turned his attention to the FedEx driver.

“As I was pulling out the first driver, the smaller truck was becoming more engulfed in flames and it was rolling up the driver’s side of the FedEx truck.” He rushed over to help the FedEx driver out of the passenger side door.

It was not a moment too soon. “As I was assisting the FedEx driver away from the vehicles both vehicles became fully involved in flames,” says Carhart. 

This amateur video shot on the night of the accident shows what Carhart was up against.

Thanks to the quick action on the part of Dennis Carhart, no one was injured during the accident or its aftermath. He hasn’t heard from the drivers he saved, but faculty and students in his RT program gave him a hero’s welcome when he returned to class.

Carhart says it was nice to receive the recognition, but for him, just knowing two people are walking around today because of what he did is reward enough.

“It feels great to know that I possibly saved these people’s lives, but I feel that with my training it was my duty to act and use my skills as I have learned them.”