NH postal supervisor receives Carnegie Medal for rescuing man from burning vehicle

From the The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, which awards the Carnegie Medal to individuals from throughout the United States and Canada who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree saving or attempting to save the lives of others:

Earl Heath Wickline rescued Robert S. Braley from burning, Londonderry, New Hampshire, January 26, 2013.

121carnegie1Braley, 58, lay unconscious on the front seats of a sport utility vehicle after an early-morning accident in which the vehicle left the roadway, struck a tree, and broke into flames at both its front and rear ends. Wickline, 62, a supervisor at the Nashua Processing and Distribution Center, soon drove upon the scene and stopped. He approached the vehicle and attempted to open further its driver’s door, but the door was jammed. Wickline then attempted to gain access to the vehicle through its cracked windshield but again was unsuccessful. Using a fire extinguisher provided by a bystander, Wickline fought flames at the rear of the vehicle, the flames by then extending to its soft top and entering its passenger compartment. Seeing that the vehicle’s rear wheels were still turning, Wickline went again to the driver’s door, reached inside, and turned the ignition off. He proceeded to the passenger side, opened the front door, and, leaning inside, patted out the flames that were burning on Braley’s shirt. He then grasped Braley by the arms and pulled him from the vehicle, taking him to the ground. A police officer who had arrived then helped take Braley to safety, flames spreading quickly on the vehicle. Braley required extensive hospitalization for treatment of burns and significant injuries. Wickline too was burned, on his right hand, and received medical treatment. He recovered.