MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — A split-second decision to investigate a smoking car on the side of the road helped Ontario truck driver Conrad Henry save a life and earn the 2008 Bridgestone Firestone Canadian Truck Hero Award.
The Bridgestone Firestone Canadian Truck Hero Award is an annual award that recognizes professional truck drivers who demonstrate courage, quick thinking and integrity in the face of an emergency.
“Truck drivers have a long history of heroic acts,” said Jim West, general manager of commercial products at Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions. “Since 1956, our company has made a commitment to honoring people like Mr. Henry who go to extraordinary measures to help a fellow motorist in distress. Stories like Conrad’s show what it takes to be a true hero.”
On Oct. 6, 2007 at approximately 2 a.m. on a return trip from Florida, Henry noticed a lightly smoking car pulled to the side of the highway near Munroe, Ohio. A small flame burning underneath the car caught Henry’s attention and he pulled over to investigate.
By the time he put his four way hazard lights on, the entire front end of the car was in flames. While exiting his truck, Henry used his cell phone to dial 911 and proceeded to retrieve his fire extinguisher from under the bunk. With the emergency operator on the phone in one hand, and the extinguisher in the other, Henry made several attempts to put out the fire in the seemingly empty car.
However, while attempting to douse the fire, he noticed a semi-conscious person slumped in the driver’s seat. Henry was able to fight through the heavy smoke, open the car door and drag the disoriented driver away from the car that was now half in flames.
Due to Henry’s quick and decisive actions, emergency personnel promptly arrived at the scene and were able to provide further medical assistance. The State police told Henry his quick thinking and decisive actions had helped save the man’s life.
The winner of the Bridgestone Firestone Canadian Truck Hero Award is selected from among nominations submitted by Canadian trucking companies, which are required to include a police statement corroborating the nominated driver’s actions.
The award, which includes a trophy and a $3,000 cheque, was presented to Henry at the annual meeting of the Ontario Trucking Association in Toronto. In addition, BFCA will also make a $3,000 donation to the charity of Henry’s choice.
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