AT&T techs are trained to be first responders in an emergency. And many put their training into action while on and off the job.

That was the case for 2 of our technicians – David Baldwin in Sylva, North Carolina, and Jim Gonnering near Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Both put their first aid skills into action after witnessing a car veer off the road.

Ready to act

David was on his way home when a car came barreling around the corner of a curvy, mountain road.

"She was a young driver going over the speed limit," David said. "It was dangerous on the tight curves. She swerved and overcorrected."

The teenager's car went into his lane and over the embankment. It flipped upside down, hit a rock, and landed in the river upright. "I was pretty calm," David said. "My first reaction was this girl was hurt. I instinctively ran down the embankment and told another passerby to call 911."

Fortunately, the running water did not move the car. The driver was unconscious. David yelled at her several times and she awakened.

"She started to panic," David recalled. "I got her to stay calm and still since I could not tell what her injuries were."

The paramedics soon arrived and brought her to safety. "We've always had first aid and first responder training on the job," David said. "It's come in handy a couple times."

Right place, right time

Jim was headed home with his family on Valentine’s Day. The roads were icy and dangerous. A Jeep passed by going over the speed limit.

"I have 2 teenage drivers in the back seat, and I try to reinforce good behaviors," Jim said. "I told them you can't drive that fast in those types of conditions."

Seconds later, the Jeep lost control. It spun around towards them. Then, it flipped several times and landed upside down. Jim's family was lucky and unharmed. "My wife called 911 while my son and I ran to the vehicle," Jim said. "It was a normal response for me as a former fireman."

The vehicle was pinned against a hillside in the frozen snow, wheels spinning. The windows were smashed. The mother and her 1- and 3-year-olds were hanging upside down in their seats. Their dog was unharmed in a crate in the back.

"The family was lucky," Jim said. "It could have been much worse. I was able to shut off the car and get them out and away from the car to safety." Jim assessed and there were no major injuries. They were just in shock.

Help arrived. Jim reflected. "We were fortunate," he said. "We were in the right place at the right time."

Portions of this story first appeared in the AT&T Insider on 3/14/16. The story was title “2 techs rush to help after seeing speeding cars flip” by Lauren Garner.

Additional story resources

Jim Gonnering