Thalia Rodriguez, 17, was the first at the scene of a motorcycle crash. Now, the high school senior is being credited with saving a police officer’s life.
Rodriquez was driving when she saw a bleeding man lying next to a crashed motorcycle on the side of the road. She immediately pulled over and jumped into action.
Luckily, the teenager knew exactly what to do since she had taken EKG and first responder classes as part of Westland Hialeah High’s Health Science magnet program. She was prepared for this moment.
“I knew I couldn’t panic,” she told the Miami Herald. “At that point it was only him, only save him, buy him time. Everything else in such a scenario is all a blur except for what you’re focused on.”
With her training, she was able to check the man’s vitals. Unfortunately, he was unresponsive.
Rodriguez saw that he was bleeding profusely from his lower body and was worried for his life. The man had lost his left leg in the crash and his right was also severely hurt.
A few minutes, another passing driver pulled over. The woman, Vianca Diaz, happened to be a nurse and also rushed over to help.
Rodriguez asked Diaz if she had anything they could use for a tourniquet, and they used a belt the woman provided on the man’s leg.
“From there, all we could do was wait until the medical service got there,” Rodriguez said. From there, the injured man was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
That’s when the man’s identity was discovered. It turned out that he was Miami-Dade Police Maj. Ricky Carter, a 21-year veteran police officer.
Fire fighters and first responders were incredibly impressed with Rodriguez’s actions and have credited her with saving Carter’s life.