Off Duty Firefighter, Wife Honored For Heroic Actions After Box Truck Runs Over Bicyclists

couple honored

A Las Vegas couple was honored by Fire and Rescue for jumping into action while they were on their way to their destination. When firefighter/paramedic John Martinolich and his wife Shelley were driving on the U.S. 95, heading to their vacation in Arizona on December 10th, 2020, they came upon a horrific crash.

Intense Situation

“I remember it being a beautiful Sunday morning as we left our house only to have to turn back for five minutes as we forgot something that day. Little did I know that five minutes would change our lives forever. I remember pulling up to the scene and getting out and seeing you know what we saw and the first thing I could think of is I didn’t want my wife to see this.”

John Martinolich

The scene that was before them was an accident that just happened where a box truck hit a group of bicyclists. Martinolich immediately called 9-1-1, then went into rescue mode, grabbing his medical bag and tending to the wounded with Shelley helping.

Five of the cyclists died in the crash. Las Vegas Fire and Rescue honored 131 people, including John and Shelley. He was awarded a Medal of Honor, while she was presented with a Citizen Life Saving Award.

John said, ” As paramedics, we rely heavily on EMT partners. It can make or break you on a scene. My wife was my EMT partner that day. Even with no medical training, she stayed calm, did what I asked, and went above and beyond. All this while wearing gloves three times of the size of her hands, I just want to say, honey, I am proud of you.”

Martinolich also said that he usually knows how to approach a problem and solve it, but it was not easy. He said, “… what am I going to do here I have no idea how I’m going to solve this, so we just did the best we could.” The victims he tended to were thankful he did.

Sources: 1, 2

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