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Question of the Quarter

What is your most memorable assist? Where did the assist take place and what service did you provide to the motorist? Why does this assist stick out amongst the rest?

“My most memorable assist happened in February 2011. I was on I-29 highway south bound just south of Barry Road. Kansas City just had a very bad snow storm with temperatures in the single digits. I noticed an 18 wheeler on the right side of the highway. When I pulled over to check on the driver I found him shaking, and he had trouble speaking. I noticed his truck wasn’t running and his hands where frozen stiff. The driver was from out of state. I had him sit in my truck to warm up a bit. He sat with me for about 30 minutes when I noticed that his hands couldn’t  stand the heat on them (red flag went up).  I called the KC Scout dispatcher and asked for the location of the nearest hospital. Rusty James, the Incident Management Coordinator for KC Scout, being observant as always, came over the air and gave me the location of North Kansas City Hospital. I took to gentlemen to the hospital where we was treated for frost bite. He had no working cell phone with him. The driver thanked me and the State of Missouri for this great program.”

Albert Wash, MoDOT Motorist Assist/Emergency Response Operator in the Kansas City District

District Four Road Ranger

Florida DOT D4 Road Ranger Thomas Butler (left) received a “special recognition” award for his memorable assist.

“In 2011, a memorable life-saving Road Ranger motorist assist received national and local recognition in District Four. Palm Beach Road Ranger Thomas Butler was honored for helping save the life of a young boy during an incident in Palm Beach on I-95. Butler received a “special recognition” award from the American Society for Industrial Security International, Palm Beach Chapter 254, at its annual Law Enforcement Officers Awards ceremony at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens.

Butler was patrolling on February 14, 2011, when he stopped to check on a pickup truck parked along the highway near Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard. He found a 10-year-old boy in the front passenger seat, covered with acid and suffering from seizures. As poisonous fumes filled the air, Butler put his own well-being at risk and carried the boy to his Road Ranger truck for safety. Investigators later found the decomposing body of the boy’s twin sister in the back of the pickup truck.


FDOT D4 Road Ranger II

Florida DOT D4 Broward County Road Ranger Cesar Cintron (left) received a Life Saving Award for saving a Broward Sheriff Officer.

“When the life of Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy Michael Rosenbluth was in danger in 2006, the efforts of Broward County Road Ranger Cesar Cintron prevented what might have been a deadly situation. On July 3, 2006 Cesar Cintron, a Road Ranger for three years, and Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) Deputy Shannon Belanger received a Life Saving Award at the Broward Sheriff Officer’s Medal of Honor for heroically and selflessly coming to the aid of a Broward Sheriff Officer.

During an accident investigation on an I-595 bridge, Cintron pulled up to the scene where BSO Deputies had already arrived. Moments later, Deputy Rosenbluth, was struck by an out-of-control car and thrown over a concrete divider on the westbound side of the highway near 1-95. As Rosenbluth tumbled over the divider, he grabbed onto a concrete wall railing and was left dangling about 100 feet above the ground. Immediately, Deputy Belanger and Cintron struggled to hang onto the injured deputy and with the assistance of a good Samaritan passer-by, Rosenbluth was pulled to safety.

FDOT District Four is proud to have such dedicated Road Rangers representing the courageous efforts of the service patrol team. These men’s contribution and willingness to help others in the most terrifying circumstance allows our agency to provide a safe and efficient transportation system.”

–  Danielle Chapel, Florida DOT District Four ITS Units

“I have, over the last ten years, had several memorable incidents. I believe the one that sticks out the most and will probably be with me till I die was an incident that occurred several years ago.  I was working the central route, driving on the high five, which is an elevated connector of IH635 and US 75. There is one non-highway entrance ramp to this elevated portion from Greenville Ave. As I approached this ramp, there was a vehicle coming up the ramp and it suddenly swerved hard to the left and struck another vehicle. I activated my emergency lights and notified dispatch. As I got out of the truck, a young woman exited the fault vehicle from the passenger side and was screaming at the driver. Suddenly she screamed she didn’t want to live and started running towards the wall. Fortunately my progress was such that I was able to intercept her. I grabbed her from behind in a bear hug and wrestled her back away from and restrained her until an ambulance arrived and, with the medics assistance, I was able to secure her in the back of the ambulance until the Dallas police arrived and took her into custody. I spoke to her brother who was driving and he said she was upset because he was taking her to Green Oaks Hospital, a mental health facility, because she had been acting unusual. She was transported by DPD to Green Oaks.”

Mark Taylor, Safety/ Training Coordinator, Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, Courtesy Patrol

“In 14 years of working as an IDOT Minuteman my most memorable moment, the one that has stuck with me, just happened this past summer. It was the end of my shift and I was returning to the garage when I saw a car southbound on the Dan Ryan Expressway in lane 1. I turned around and went and got the car out of the lane and towed it somewhere safe. No big deal, right? That’s what we do!!! But what happened next… the lady got out of the car with 5 small children anywhere from 1 years old to 6 years old and this little girl walked up to me and said, “I prayed for an Angel and God sent you.” She drew me this beautiful picture of an Angel and gave me a great big hug and looked at her mom and gave me a kiss on the cheek. She then said she would never forget me because I saved their lives that day. Out of all the things I’ve seen and done over my years that has to be my best moment ever, I carry that picture with me everyday!!!!

Jay Seifried, IDOT Minuteman

Back to Safe Highway Matters: Spring 2013


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