COVINGTON, LA (WVUE) - Some firefighters in St. Tammany Parish are being hailed as angels by a man who was critically injured in a motorcycle accident. The firefighters at St. Tammany Fire District 12 received a surprise visitor Wednesday from Covington resident Navon Crandle who credits the firefighters with saving his life. The part of the crew that responded to Crandle's emergency consisted of Captain Brad Boogaerts, Captain Jon King, Operator Katlin Gassen and Operator Tom Williamson. The crew had to make a split-second decision on the scene to apply a tourniquet to his badly injured right leg which saved Crandle's life.
Crandle and his family thanked the crew for everything they did for him and told the shift, "You are the reason I am here. I don't think people say it enough, I don't think I can say it enough, but thank you for all that you do." He told the crew that it took a while for him to get there but he had to thank them personally. Firefighters say Crandle was in great spirits and showed off his wonderful personality and sense of humor.
When asked what he remembered about his accident, Crandle said, "Almost everything. I remember the accident, lying on the ground, the guys on the trucks showing up really quickly and asking the doctor if they would be able to save my leg." The doctors couldn't save his leg but they did save his life. Crandle asked "who rode in with me?" Operator Gassen raised his hand.
Fire Chief Stephen Krentel thanked Crandle for taking the time out of his day to visit the shift that was with him the day of his accident. Chief Krentel told him, "The fact that you came to acknowledge the job performance of these men means more than you can imagine. Expressing what you experienced helps them understand what you were going through, and believe me, they were experiencing the event as well. Sometimes fire service personnel never get contact with a patient after a call, so we have no idea of the outcome. We suffer some of your trauma believe it or not and the worst part could be not knowing if we made a difference. So thank you again."
After a few pictures and lots of hugs exchanged with the members of District 12, Crandle had one final thing to say as he was leaving. "You know, I didn't really think that y'all cared that much until you stayed with me, talked to me and reassured me. And then you rode in with me to the hospital. Y'all never left me and that makes y'all my angels."