Back the Blue Award given to two Jacksonville officers for saving woman from burning car

Back the Blue Award given to two Jacksonville officers for saving woman from burning car

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office were presented with the Back the Blue Award Thursday by Attorney General Ashley Moody.

Moody stated in a press release that Officer Kathleen James and Officer Chelsea McCullom rescued a woman screaming from inside a burning car after witnessing the car crash on the on-ramp to I-10.

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The officers were able to force a jammed door open and and pull her out of the vehicle before the car exploded.

“The heroic actions taken by these two officers are incredible. Without hesitation, both of these officers fearlessly entered a burning vehicle to save this woman’s life and shielded her with their own bodies from exploding shrapnel. It is an absolute honor to present them a Back the Blue Award today. Thank you, officers, for nobly serving your community and risking your own lives to save another. We are so proud of you,” Attorney General Ashley Moody said.

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JSO Officer Kathleen James and JSO Officer Chelsea McCullom are assigned to work on Jacksonville’s Westside in Patrol Zone 4. While out on patrol on the evening of Tuesday, February 5th, both officers witnessed a vehicle crash on the on-ramp for Interstate 10. They saw the vehicle catch on fire. Both officers heard screams coming from inside the vehicle and immediately responded to render aide in any way they could. . Officer James was able to smash the passenger side window, and then both officers forced the jammed door opened. They entered the burning vehicle and pulled the driver out of the vehicle. They were able to drag the victim ten feet away from the scene when the vehicle exploded. Both officers threw their bodies on the driver, protecting her from shrapnel caused by the explosion. Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Responders noted that upon their arrival to the scene the vehicle was “fully engulfed in flames.” Ultimately, the individual was transported to a nearby hospital. The driver suffered second and third degree burns to forty percent (40%) of her body. However, despite her life threatening injuries, we are happy to report that she is reportedly making a full recovery due to the swift and heroic actions of these two officers. . One of the doctors who treated the patient said, “There is no question in my mind or in the mind of any of us here that {the patient} would surely have died had they not rescued her as soon as they discovered the car fire. The quick thinking and brave actions of these officers saved our patient’s life that day.” Officer James and Officer McCullom, your responsiveness and keen life-saving skills are apparent to our community and your fellow officers. We commend you both for an incredible job that day. Congratulations!

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