Local AAA technician honored for car rescue fire

Local News

(WSYR-TV) — A wild scene could have ended much worse, had it not been for a AAA technician showing no hesitation to help.

“Scott, I literally shake my head at the action you took,” said Tony Spada, AAA president and CEO.

This is not an uncommon action for this veteran volunteer firefighter.

“It was no surprise to me when I heard that this had happened and Scott did what he did,” said Todd Ingraham, AAA fleet manager in Central New York.

AAA Roadside Assistant Scott Swank was waiting for his next call when this happened:

“He heard the sound of the vehicle speed past him and he watched as it crashed into a pole, rolled over and started on fire,” said Spada.

Two people were trapped inside the car. Swank knew he had to act fast and grabbed a tool that is normally used to open windows.

“Doing this job is not really easy, especially with the weather condition that we have. But it’s something that I look forward to doing,” said Swank.

Swank proved the value of the tool that helped save two lives, successfully lobbying for AAA trucks to be equipped with them.

“That action could save more lives across Western and Central New York,” said Elizabeth Carey, AAA director of Public Relations.

Swank has now made sure that fellow technicians have the ability to help others who need more than roadside assistance.

AAA plans to honor Swank by donating $1,000 to the fire company of his choosing.

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