Macon County firefighter saves life while off-duty

Published 06/11 2013 08:08PM

Updated 06/12 2013 12:14PM

DECATUR -- A Macon County firefighter was recently called to save a man's life even while off-duty. Dylan Pritts was in the right place at the right time on May 21. He witnessed a car accident on his commute to work, and stopping to help in the rescue was just a natural response.

"It's from our initial training, you know it's repetitive and everybody does the same thing on every call we go to," said Pritts.

He found Matt Dickerson injured. His car had been T-boned, and his shoulder and neck were in pain. Pritts said that he just held immobilization around his neck, "just to make sure he didn't turn or move his neck in any way."

Pritts later learned that those quick actions would be vital in Dickerson's recovery. When Dickerson arrived at the hospital, he immediately went into surgery.

"The surgeon told him that if he would have gotten out of the car, or moved around, he would have, at the very least, been paralyzed and he probably would have died," Pritts said.

Now, Dickerson is at home recovering. He and his family are grateful for Pritts' help. His chief said Pritts' actions bring home the true meaning of a firefighter's work.

"Once you're a fireman, you're always a fireman. 24 hours a day, we're always looking to do good, and we're always excited when we make that rescue or that save."

As for the other driver in the accident, he fled the scene. But days later, 30-year old Mark Connelly was arrested in connection with the incident.

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