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Police & Fire

New Canaan Police Officers Risk Their Lives To Save Burning Motorist

Officer Tom Patten and Sgt. Peter Condos are being honored for saving a person who was on fire following a crash.
Officer Tom Patten and Sgt. Peter Condos are being honored for saving a person who was on fire following a crash. Photo Credit: New Canaan Police Department

Two police officers are being recognized for saving the life a person who was on fire following a vehicle crash in New Canaan.

The incident took place around 9 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 19, when responding to a report of a vehicle fire on Rosebrook Road, said New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski.

Officers arrived within minutes of being dispatched, and found a vehicle off the road, fully engulfed in flames.

Two of the arriving officers, Sgt. Peter Condos and Officer Tom Patten, ran down an embankment to the burning vehicle, the chief said. 

They located the motorist who was on fire near the fully engulfed vehicle. 

"Despite the risk of the vehicle exploding, these officers put themselves in harm’s way to save the severely burned motorist," Krolikowski said.

 The officers put snow on the burning motorist and used their bare hands to put out the flames on the motorist’s body, and then urgently provided emergency medical care. 

One officer received minor injuries as a result of the lifesaving efforts.

The severely burned motorist received advanced care from the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps and was transported to the hospital.

The officers who put themselves in harm’s way, and provided lifesaving care, will soon receive the Department’s Lifesaving Award, the chief said.

"Thanks to their bravery, training, professionalism and expert care they saved a life," Krolikowski said. "We are proud of how these officers embody our mission which is to protect and serve the community with courage, professionalism, and integrity.”

The chief also thanked the NCVAC for being such a critical partner during hundreds of medical calls and medical emergencies.

"Especially during the holiday season there is no greater reward than saving a life," he added.

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