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A family surprises Iredell County first responders with a gift for saving relatives

Updated: May. 26, 2020 at 10:34 PM EDT
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IREDELL, N.C. (WBTV) - First responders help those in trouble. They get called to a scene, handle that call, and then it’s off to the next one.

Rarely do those calls come full circle. Rarely do rescuers get to know how things ultimately turn out.

A recent surprise visit by the Graham family bucks that trend and allowed one fire department in Iredell County to look back on a recent call and see how they saved lives.

Thank yous don’t come often for firefighters, EMTs, or any other person part of a rescue squad. So, it was quite the surprise for the Cool Springs Fire department when the Graham family showed up to hand-deliver a plaque in honor of the work crews did to save the lives of four people.

All four were relatives, found in a mangled truck on Mocksville Highway two weeks ago.

“Big shout out to the Cool Springs Fire Department,” said Jahri Hairston, who was in the accident.

It’s not clear what caused the accident, but the truck rolled over and was trapped underneath a tree. It took saws and nearly 50 minutes for crews to get all 4 men out.

“It’s no way any of us should have walked out of there,” said Quen Turner, who was also in the accident.

The first responders say being able to see any crash victim alive and walking is all the satisfaction they need.

“It is our job and we don’t take it lightly, but we are very appreciative when a family comes and lets us know that they’re thankful that we helped save their family,” said Michael Eckmann, a paramedic for Iredell County EMS.

“They spent 50 minutes cutting us out honestly. The fact that they cared enough to take that time and make sure that we were okay...we had to come back and at least show a little effort. They put 50 minutes in, we took 5 minutes,” added

Only one of the men from the accident is still in the hospital -- he was just moved from critical ICU to intermediate care.

“I will be even more grateful when he gets out of the hospital...you don’t often get to see that with trauma like that," Eckmann added.

The accident will never be forgotten, but in this case, at least this time, a crumpled car gets overshadowed by a beautiful ending, and with first responders seeing why they make such a difference.

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