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Nurse at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne Receives CareFlite Award|
CLEBURNE, Texas — It was like a scene out of a movie. Adam Jobe was on his way in to work when he glanced over to the side of the road and saw a pickup truck. Upside down. In a ditch with a small fire burning on the grass beside the pickup.
Jobe, an administrative nurse supervisor at Texas Health Cleburne, put on some surgical gloves and headed over to the truck, on the off chance that someone was inside. Someone was.
“I yelled to see if someone would answer and soon as he heard me he started screaming for help,” said Jobe. Jobe ran over and found the front of the cab caved in. The driver’s side was the worst. When Jobe went to the passenger side, there was about a 6-inch opening, not large enough for the man to fit through.
When Jobe heard a car, he ran out of the ditch and flagged the driver down to get him to call 911. In the meantime, Jobe ran back down to the truck and assessed the situation. The driver was upside down and his legs were wrapped around the steering wheel in a strange angle.
“I really didn’t have much time to think about what I was getting myself into — I just reacted,” said Jobe. “It wasn’t until later when I was talking to some colleagues that I started thinking about how the outcome could have been different for me, my wife and my 1-month-old baby.”
The flames were moving faster, starting to burn the driver. The driver was desperate, pleading for Jobe to help him.
Eerily, Jobe watched a movie with a very similar scene when he was younger. In the movie, the rescuer had done what he could until finally the flames were so bad he had to run in another direction. Jobe distinctly remembers the scene of the would-be rescuer sitting on the side of the hill, crying as the driver in that car screamed in pain.
“You see movies like that and put yourself in their shoes,” Jobe said. “I remember thinking that if I ever found myself in that situation I would do what I could to yank the driver out, no matter how uncomfortable it was. In my book a few broken bones are better than being burned alive.”
Little did he know that he’d actually be in that situation. And his forethought helped save the driver’s life.
“I did what I told myself I would — I yanked him out.”
Later, one of the firemen on the scene would tell Jobe that they couldn’t figure out how he managed to get the driver out. The opening in the window was too small.
“I put my back, legs and arms into it,” said Jobe. “My goal was to get this man out of the truck and to safety.” Jobe carried the man to his own pickup truck on the side of the road. He had barely placed the man in the bed of the truck when the driver’s pickup started exploding.
“We got out just in time,” Jobe said.
In the time it took for the fire department, the paramedics and Careflite to arrive, Jobe worked on keeping the man stable and assessing him for any signs of shock.
“He spoke Spanish, I speak English, so our communication wasn’t easy. But he kept thanking me over and over and I just kept asking his name to make sure he was still in good shape.”
The driver was lucky. He was assessed with several abrasions, a few internal injuries, but nothing life-threatening. Although Jobe was never able to follow up with the driver, he hopes that the man is doing well.
“The guy is young. Who knows, maybe he too has a wife and small child waiting for him at home. That could have been a devastating day for everyone.”
In honor of Jobe’s bravery, CareFlite recently presented him a Great First Responder award, reserved for those who go above and beyond the call of duty. James C. Swartz, CareFlite president and CEO, said Jobe was nominated by CareFlite employee Jordan Gaston. Gaston said that the driver survived and escaped with no burns because of Jobe’s actions.
“We are very proud of Adam,” said Blake Kretz, president of Texas Health Cleburne. “It takes a special person to risk his own life to save someone else’s. We always say that we have exemplary nurses, but Adam went above and beyond in this situation.”
Jobe was grateful to be in the right place at the right time.
“I never expected to actually have to pull a man out of a burning car, but I’m glad I knew what to do when the time came,” said Jobe.
About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne
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Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.