Off-duty volunteer firefighter Tristan Shannon was on his way home from Ottawa on Friday, January 25, when he spotted a plume of smoke in the distance. Shannon was driving eastbound on Highway 417, near Vars when he spotted a burning vehicle by the side of the road.
“I thought the vehicle was just overheated, but as I drove past it to park on the shoulder of the road, I could see flames shooting from the car,” said Shannon, who quickly exited his own vehicle and raced towards the fire.
Two people were struggling to exit the car when Shannon arrived. He helped them from their vehicle and urged them to put a much greater distance between themselves and the flames. He also dialed 911, notifying First Responders of the emerging situation.
“Without the training I received as a firefighter, I wouldn’t have known how fast the situation could escalate. When I arrived, there were people standing very close to the burning car. I moved the people back and within minutes, the vehicle was completely engulfed in flames,” said Shannon.
Firefighters from Ottawa were dispatched to the scene to put out the fire and to care for the two occupants of the vehicle. Shannon remained on scene to report what had occurred and to ensure that the victims were cared for.
He credits the training he received with the North Glengarry Fire Department for giving him the skills necessary to race towards danger, while protecting both himself and the victims.
Shannon has been a member of the North Glengarry Fire Department for a year. He said that he joined the fire department so he could give back to the community and be more involved in his home town.
“I was very happy to hear that Tristan was able to make this incident safer for everyone. Firefighters dedicate an incredible amount of time and effort to learning their craft and it is very rewarding when they can put their training to work and help others. I applaud Tristan for his ability to react safely and appropriately in this situation. I am definitely proud to say he’s one of ours,” said North Glengarry Fire Chief Patrick Gauthier “.