BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (WJW) – A Bay Village firefighter is being hailed as a hero after saving a fellow firefighter’s life while on vacation.
BVFD firefighter and paramedic Jeremy Gillespie, 27, was vacationing in Maui with friends when torrential rains hit the island, causing flash flooding on Jan. 27.
“It’s like the perfect storm,” said Gillespie. “The whole street that our condo was on was completely underwater.”
He was standing on the porch of the condo when he noticed two firefighters about 50 feet from shore, dragging what looked like a body, and he sprang into action.
“I ran just to see if they needed help because it was just the two of them,” said Gillespie. “They were exhausted trying to rescue him.”
The victim was a 24-year-old fellow firefighter who had been responding to the flooding and somehow fell into a “storm drain” and knocked unconscious.
“He fell into a manhole or some kind of drain and was swept, they said, about 800 yards out into the ocean,” said Gillespie.
Jeremey began CPR while the other firefighters ran to get an AED and other lifesaving equipment.
A nurse and other Good Samaritans also rushed to help before the ambulance arrived, but they couldn’t use the AED initially because of all the rain.
“The pads on AED just kept coming off because it was soaking wet,” said Gillespie. “He was soaking wet, so a bunch of people came out with towels and that helped a lot.”
Incredibly, the young firefighter suddenly regained a pulse and survived.
“It was amazing,” said Gillespie. “They just loaded him and went.”
The injured firefighter is listed in critical condition, but improving thanks to Jeremy’s quick actions on the beach.
Although, he says it was a team effort and he is just grateful he was there to help.
“I mean, biggest thing I hear is, ‘good thing you were there.’ I’m glad all those people were there,” said Gillespie, “My buddy Joe is one guy in particular, he was there to help. That’s pretty awesome to see humanity come together.”