On Sunday afternoon, Airdrie resident Andrew Carr was on his way to drop off a birthday present for a co-worker in Irricana when he saw a dust cloud in the distance, as he was driving eastbound on Highway 567.

He assumed it may have been a combine, but as he got closer, he realized it was a collision.

"There was a lady running towards the ditch and a guy on a cell phone. The truck that had been going westbound had Jackknifed into the ditch," he said. 

Earlier that afternoon, RCMP confirmed that police along with emergency crews responded to a single-vehicle rollover near the intersection of Highway 567 and Range Road 285, east of Airdrie. 

Carr, who is a former volunteer firefighter with the Irricana Fire Station wanted to make sure there were no injuries or worse. One of the individuals at the scene had told him that one of their co-workers was still trapped in the truck. 

"I climbed the frame rails of the truck and I'm watching where the transmission fluid is going, and it's running down the rail of the truck and pooling by the exhaust. [I got] to the top just to see what happened. And as I'm walking, I can feel the heat of the exhaust on my calf."

Carr managed to locate the individual in the car, who was alert and didn't appear to have any outward physical injuries. After asking the occupant some basic medical questions to assess whether they were all right, Carr helped the occupant out.

"They was going to either go down the truck side or come down the side I wanted," Carr explained. "I said [that it would be better] if we came down my side because if anything ever happened, I can kind of push her onto the grass - say if something caught fire. I wanted to make sure there was egress or a way of emergency getting off the truck."

Carr managed to get the occupant to sit atop the top of the cab, at which point, the two people who had been on the scene when Carr arrived came to help. Because Carr had overheard the occupant of the truck mention there were propane tanks, he said that in the back of his mind, he was worried, that the propane, along with the leaking transmission fluid, and the heat from the exhaust could spell disaster. 

"I held her arm and I told them that I would hold their arm to make sure they didn't fall back off the damn truck between the truck and the trailer which I can't even see," he said. "I just picked up the upper arm I held and said we're going to come down slowly, one step at a time. By the time it got to the other side of the cab, closer to the ground, I held their arm and then two other gentlemen came up and they held her other arm then they jumped down."

When asked if there is innate second nature when it comes to emergency responders, including former responders, jumping into action in circumstances such as this, Carr said he surprised himself.

"I thought I had forgotten half of this stuff over the years, but then when you get back to that moment and you think to yourself - maybe I don't forget at all," he said. "Things like watching for secondary escapes in case that truck did light up; could I get her off that truck fast enough in case there was a fire?"

While Carr said his volunteer firefighting days are behind him, he did say that those days are fondly remembered; with a nod of respect to current firefighters.

"It's a tough gig for anyone to do it [and] I have the utmost respect for any volunteer firefighters out there."

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