It is not every day that firemen are commended for the risky job they do, so when Constable Zamfir Carr got a commendation letter added to his file recently for rescuing two people after their vehicle went off a cliff and into the sea, it was a good feeling for him.
“It feels good to be recognised because now people who may think bad about [firemen] will think different. Now they want to be that person who has been recognised,” he said.
Constable Carr said he did not hesitate to help after the car allegedly spun out of control after hitting the same fire truck in which he was travelling with his colleague, Corporal Nigel Carty, to put out a fire on February 15.
He said he was never worried about his safety when he went into the water.
“I could swim before I became a police officer and when you’re in training at training school they take trainees down Fort [James] to practise. Persons who can’t swim learn to swim. I even went on an RSS course in Barbados where we went into deep waters to swim even with knapsacks and our shoes and clothes on,” he said.
While his colleague has not commented publicly about the accolade, Carr said it is an honour to serve and help others.
At the same time, he said the commendation he received isn’t really a “big deal”, because that’s not why he became a cop or why he rushes to rescue or help people.
“I am just happy to know we got to save two lives as quick as the car went over and everybody is okay,” he said.
According to earlier police reports, on the afternoon of February 15 a man and woman were travelling in a vehicle in the Crabb Hill area when they allegedly attempted to overtake the fire truck.
However, their vehicle clipped one of the front tyres of the truck, the driver lost control and the car ran over the cliff and landed on its roof in the ocean.
Carr and Carty, still fully dressed, jumped out of the truck and ran down the side of the cliff to rescue the duo. The female occupant was still pinned in the car and had already passed out by the time they pulled her out.
The male occupant got out of the vehicle on his own and with help from the officers, he was taken to the top where emergency medical personnel started treating him right away.
The officers had to assist in reviving the woman when they pulled her from the wreck. It was clear she had taken in a lot of water and once they helped, she began vomiting it up before medical staff helped and took her to the hospital.
Commendation letters were placed on the files of both Carr and Carty and they were honoured in a brief ceremony at Police Headquarters earlier this week.