Monthly Archives: October 2014
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. – A Prairie Village driver pulled from his burning truck is recovering at an area hospital thanks to recently added equipment to police patrol cars.The Prairie Village Police Department recently switched out its household fire extinguishers with ColdFire extinguishers, an investment that made all the difference in Monday morning’s crash.The driver, who is in his early 20s, has not been identified. Police responded to 79th and Belinder and found him trapped in his burning pick-up truck.Video from a patrol car’s dash camera showed a neighbor trying to use a standard extinguisher, but officers say those are useless with a fire that big.Officers grabbed their ColdFire extinguishers and quickly put the fire out.
“You can hear at one point an officer will tell the driver ‘Just relax. We’re going to get you out of here,'” Sgt. Ivan Washington said about the dash cam video.The driver is being in the burn unit of a local hospital. Officers say he has a long road to recovery.Without the extinguishers, officers would not have been able to help. Instead, they would have to wait until firefighters arrived, and in those situations every second counts. Washington said the extinguishers are also used in NASCAR and Indy 500 crashes. Prairie Village added them after a study was done by the Lenexa Police Department.
Two Prairie Village Police officers were honored Monday with the department’s Lifesaving Award for their actions in saving a victim in a burning pickup truck in April.
Officers Joel Colletti and John Shipman had responded to a call of a vehicle crash on west 79th Street early in the morning. Prairie Village Police Chief Wes Jordan recounted the situation they faced in his presentation of the awards before the city council:“Upon their arrival, they found a pickup truck engulfed in flames so intense they could not see inside the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Both officers quickly deployed Cold Fire equipment and worked quickly to quell the flames of the fire.”
“After the fire was extinguished,” Jordan continued, “the officers discovered a male occupant who was still alive and suffering from life-threatening injuries”.
Following extrication by the fire department, the critically injured driver was removed from the scene and transported to KU Hospital. The victim survived his injuries and fire officials noted the quick actions of the responding officers using Cold Fire extinguishers saved the victim from perishing in the fire.”When he asks applicants why they want to join the police department, Jordan said, their number one answer is to help people. “Over the course of an officer’s career, they will get to help people on a daily basis, however, only a few have opportunities to be in a position to truly save a life.”
While the officers were presented the awards, the display screen in the council chambers showed an image of the burning truck taken from the in-car video of the police car on April 21.