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Introducing the WSECU and KIRO Radio Hometown Hero: Chris Quinlan

Photo courtesy of Chris Quinlan

SPONSORED — On February 6th, 2018 a Centralia man was rescued from his pickup truck which burst into flames upon being hit by a semi-truck. He received the medical assistance he needed, and was taken from the scene by paramedics.

The man was fortunate Seattle Firefighter Chris Quinlan was heading to work that day. Quinlan’s simple commute turned into a life-saving moment, this time while “off the clock.”

As a Seattle firefighter for 27 years, Chris has experienced both amazing and tragic moments as a result of his job.

“I have been blessed to see and be a part of lives being saved and babies being born. Sadly, I have also seen the horrific tragedies of the job, to see great friends die and lives that have been taken too early.”

This, he says, is what led him to pull over one day on his way to work. A truck was on fire on the side of the freeway, and he knew all too well what may happen if he did not help the motorist in need. After pulling the driver to safety, Chris conducted first aid until medics arrived.

“It was an easy decision for me to make to pull over and help the motorist that morning,” Chris says, “It was a small risk to take to save another man’s life.”

Chris also gives back to his community by volunteering with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department Cascade Search and rescue K-9 team. Along with his retriever, Hunter, Chris travels many miles throughout the state each year helping families reunite with their loved ones. While this creates a cost for the K-9 handlers, Chris says the work is very rewarding.

“This is a volunteer service that I would not want to give up. The K-9 search and rescue community throughout the country is a great family to be a part of. They do amazing work.”

Helping others, both on and off duty, is something that Chris values. He says he’s always believed in helping others, especially those that can’t help themselves. His dedication and willingness to help in any circumstance is inspiring.

Most commuters who come across a motor vehicle accident do not have the training or experience of a 27-year firefighter, but the Washington State DMV website offers a best practice guide for drivers who are in an accident or for those who witness an accident.

For his life saving actions and determination to help those in need, KIRO Radio and WSECU are proud to honor Chris Quinlan as a Hometown Hero and award him with $2,000! WSECU knows that when we come together as a community, we can do more. If you know of a Hometown Hero, an exceptional person who makes your community a better place to live, nominate that person as mynorthwest.com/hero.

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