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First responders recognized for life saving work

Salt Lake City (ABC 4 Utah) – First responders can be the difference between life and death during an emergency.
Salt Lake City (ABC 4 Utah) – First responders can be the difference between life and death during an emergency. Wednesday they were honored for the important work they do in our community.

"It's an image and a scene that I remember vividly," says University of Utah Trauma Surgeon, Toby Enniss.

He’s talking about the scene of a gruesome accident in August, 2012.
He arrived as part of the AirMed team to find a man trapped by several tons of steel that had shifted inside a box car of a train.

"A life or limb situation, if the leg wasn't amputated the patient was going to die there before they could save him," says Enniss.

Enniss was one of the surgeons to perform that amputation. The procedure was a success, but Enniss says it was made possible by the hours of work put in by other first responders to prepare the way.

"What was really striking was how efficiently Chief Nichols had coordinated the efforts of multiple primary responders and the life flight team," says Enniss.

Wednesday that collaborative effort was met with appreciation. The Salt Lake, South Salt Lake, West Valley and Murray fire departments and AirMed were honored with a certificate of outstanding performance.

"To be able to know how proud we are of them, the things they do are outstanding and just take the time to say thank you for taking the time to respond on some pretty horrific incidents across the state," says the Utah Director of EMS and Preparedness, Paul Patrick.

Enniss says he's humbled by the recognition, but the real reward was working with the victim through his recovery.

"To meet with him and his parents, just to be part of that whole process. Its part of why we do what we do," says Enniss.

The Utah EMS Awards Ceremony is an annual event honoring first responders for their life saving work.

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