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Port St. Lucie residents recognized for stopping brush fire, saving driver

Posted at 9:29 AM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 09:29:50-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Two Port St. Lucie will be recognized as heroes by the St. Lucie County Fire District on Wednesday.

Paul Lewis and Thomas Salvador were both in the right place at the right time to help prevent two separate disasters.

On Feb. 1, Salvador was driving through a Port St. Lucie neighborhood when he was flagged down by another resident warning him about a brush fire getting close to a home.

Salvador pulled over and ran inside the home to check if anyone was in danger.

He then grabbed a hose, along with the resident who flagged him down, and helped keep the flames at bay until firefighters arrived.

On January 5th, Lewis noticed a truck swerving along Crosstown Pkwy.

The driver of the swerving truck had suffered a medical episode and was unresponsive.

Fire officials said that driver slammed into the back of a stopped cement truck.

Lewis pulled over and ran to the crashed vehicle with the wheels still running.

Fire officials said he broke the driver's window and reached inside and turned the vehicle off.

Lewis stayed with the unresponsive driver until paramedics arrived.

Fire officials said that driver survived the accident.

"We don't always here about it," said Brenda Strokes, St. Lucie County Fire District. "Sometimes, there's a citizen that steps in and they're gone before we get there. You know, it could be somebody in the water that somebody pulls out of the water. It makes a difference, all the difference in the world for that outcome of that patient."

Both Lewis and Salvador are City of Port St. Lucie employees.

"It's important when people step up and step in to recognize them because the outcomes could have been totally different for those people," said Strokes. "The house could have burnt down. The gentleman that was in the car, the wheels kept spinning. Who knows what could have happened in that situation."

On Wednesday, both men will be honored at the fire district's administration building off Milner Dr. at 3 p.m.

Lewis and Salvador will be awarded a medal and given a certificate.