First responders recount Jefferson County rescue, credit teamwork for saving lives

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – Body camera video gave a look into an intense vehicle rescue in Jefferson County on Friday.

The sheriff’s office says two women were hurt in a crash on Friday. One was trapped inside the car.

WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel talked to the first responders who worked together to save them.

“Me and my partner Randy were making our way down to the car. We started seeing smoke and then saw the flame,” said Stacy Hickle, a paramedic with Jefferson County EMS.

The car caught fire, with one of the victims still trapped inside.

“I jumped up on the door and stood up on a door and the hood, and just directed water into the engine compartment to keep them back,” said Dandridge Fire Department firefighter Brian Newell.

First responders called for a special tool to help free the second victim.

“I pulled a set of jaws, or the jaws of life, and a ram. Two basic tools that we use for vehicle extrication. We were working in really tight corners, so I got them the tool, and they were able to pop that door and get the patient out,” said Tim Hernandez, with the Jefferson County Rescue Squad.

Everyone on scene had a specific role.

“I was actually helping the paramedics open the door with the jaws of life. We were on the hillside and very difficult to get pried open,” said Sgt. Mark Snowden, with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Making matters even more difficult, Sgt. Snowden says he stepped into a yellow jacket nest. He was stung 21 times.

Still, he and the other responders applaud the way they worked together.

“A good show of hands how all of the first responders in Jefferson County, how we get along and work well together,” Snowden said.

“If people weren’t where they were supposed to be, the outcomes would have been entirely, entirely different,” said Hickle.

Both of the victims were taken to UT Medical Center with multiple injuries.

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