Philadelphia Teenager Saves Police Officer From Burning Car
Cole Damon September 30th 2017 Inspiration
Heartwarming stories are rare and hard to come by these days. The world seems to be burning to the ground, and hate and anger appear to be ruling the day. That's why it's so refreshing to read a news story that's free of any negative emotions at all, and celebrates the best of humanity. The city of Philadelphia had cause for joy when it was able to thank a teen and his neighbor for an act of immense heroism.
The city of Philadelphia owes a huge debt to some very unlikely heroes.
The city of Philadelphia gave a big "thank you" to the group of citizens who helped rescue Philadelphia Police Officer Mark Kimsey from a burning car. Philadelphia City Council honored a teen and his neighbor for saving a Philadelphia police officer from his cruiser after it burst into flames.
Meet the heroes.
Joe Chambers, 17, and his 24-year-old neighbor Dante Johnson were the ones who save Officer Mark Kimsey last Saturday. The officer was trapped in a burning car, and the heroic pair saved his life by pulling him to safety from the inferno.
Chambers and Johnson were recognized by officials in City Hall Thursday morning.
A few days before the ceremony, the officer himself thanked Johnson and the heroic high schooler.
"He's my hero, by far," said Officer Mark Kimsey. "If he wouldn't have pulled me out of that car, I'd still be sitting in it."
The crash caused injury to the officer.
Kimsey, 30, was released from the hospital Monday after he was hurt in the fiery crash over the weekend. The married father was responding to a priority call around 5:25 p.m. Saturday when a Toyota pickup truck collided with his cruiser at the intersection of 28th and Tasker streets, police said.
It left the officer stuck in the car.
The force of the crash left Kimsey trapped inside as the police cruiser burst into flames. Seeing the flames grow around the officer, Joe Chambers, a 17-year-old with County, and his neighbor, 24-year-old Dante Johnson, rushed over to help the victims.
Luckily, Chambers was a volunteer firefighter.
The 17 year old was with the Leedom Fire Company in Delaware.
"I saw that it was a cop car," Chambers said. "Right then, I just started sprinting and did what I had to do."
Chambers and Johnson then proceeded to pull Officer Kimsey from the window of his burning car.
But it wasn't that easy.
"The door was slammed," Chambers said. "It was dented and wouldn't open. The car caught fire. He said he couldn't feel his legs. We had to drag him through the window, and he was ready for it."
In other words, it took a great deal of willpower and effort.
Others took care of the pickup truck driver.
As the two good Samaritans pulled the officer to safety, other witnesses pulled the driver from the pickup truck. The man was also injured by the accident, but the truck had not burst into flame like Officer Kimsey's cop car had.
The injured parties had to be hospitalized.
Officer Kimsey and the pickup truck driver were both taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for treatment. Kimsey had unfortunately suffered some trauma to his head from the airbag deployment, as well as burns to his legs.
Joe Chambers did not escape completely unscathed either
Chambers also suffered minor injuries and was taken to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Later Saturday night, he visited Officer Kimsey and the two posed for a photo, which you can see here. It's great to see both of them looking well!
The officer couldn't stop voicing his gratitude.
"It felt great just to see that he was OK,'' the Ridley high school senior said of Kimsey.
"He said, 'I can't thank you enough.' I was like, 'You don't have to, it's fine.' I would do it any day of the week if I had to.''
The officer was quickly discharged.
Kimsey left the hospital Monday evening and arrived at 17th District headquarters to file paperwork on the crash. Kimsey told NBC10 he's unsure when he'll be cleared to go back to work but felt grateful and lucky to be alive.
"I owe him a steak dinner."
He also thanked Chambers and Johnson for saving his life.
"I told him I owe him a steak dinner or something," Kimsey said. "I'll have to take him out."
Well, if anyone deserved that steak dinner, it was Chambers for sure! He's even made an appearance on Ellen!
Other person in accident was also well.
The 52-year-old driver of the pickup truck also suffered head trauma and is listed in stable condition, according to the police. Police had originally said the driver of the pickup truck had fled the scene, but later corrected that report.
And now Joe Chambers is a cop too!
After the crash in 2014, Joe Chambers went on to become a police officer himself in 2017! He even made an appearance on Ellen in 2015, making him quite a high-profile officer to join the force. Obviously, everyone on the squad had already heard of him.