Local firefighter commended for save in Oregon

Oak Bay Firefighter Greg Swan is honoured during council session

Oak Bay firefighter Greg Swan

Oak Bay Firefighter Greg Swan now has a Medford Fire-Rescue framed commendation to hang in his home.

Swan received the honour Sept. 26 from Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen, who read out the story of how the Swan family vacation ended this summer.

The family was returning home, driving north on the I-5 just on the outskirts of Medford, Ore., when they came across a car crashed into a tree – the dust was still settling. Swan grabbed the family fire extinguisher and first aid kit while wife Lindsay called 9-1-1.

It took two rounds with the fire extinguisher to get to the 83-year-old driver, who Medford Fire later reported had broken bones in both his thigh and lower leg. Shortly after freeing the man, the car was engulfed in flames and tires started exploding.

“You intervened in a way that saved a life,” Jensen said.

“There’s no better act of bravery.”

Swan shared accolades with Lindsay, who comforted the injured man during the incident, and his young sons, who patiently waited out of the way while their parents worked.

“In the fire service there’s very little room for individual recognition as we operate as a team,” Swan said, gesturing to the half dozen fire officials and honour guard on hand for the event.

Yet another shift of firefighters was out battling a brush fire on King George Terrace while a third called in to stand by at the fire hall.

The full gallery at the council meeting responded to Swan’s request for a “polite applause” for his comrades with a standing ovation.