JOPLIN, Mo. — An area company goes out of it’s way to employ men and women that have served their country. And it’s a good thing they do, because some of the skills they learned in the military can come in handy.
There’s an easy way to determine who’s a hero and who isn’t. If your first instinct is to run towards a fiery wreck like this one, instead of away from it, then you’re a hero.
That’s the best way to describe CFI Truck Driver Zach Yeakley.
“And me and a sheriff and a state trooper went back up there to try and pry the dash off of him to get him out. As we got him out loose, they moved him over to the seat, and I ran around to the ambulance that pulled up and got a skid to where we could get him off the seat and put on there, strap him up and get him over to the ambulance,” said Yeakley.
Yeakley was driving for CFI a few weeks ago when he heard on his CB about a terrible accident near the Missouri-Illinois border. He was just a few miles away at the time and sprung into action as soon as he got to the scene and jumped out of his truck.
But he did more than just help the stuck driver. He also helped with triage.
“I sit there and helped assess all the other drivers or the other patients because they had broken arms, collapsed lungs, broken ribs, and help bandage them up to get them in ambulances to get them ready to go,” he continued.
So how did a truck driver know how to handle a situation like this? From his years in the military.
His CB handle is “Little Sarge” and is a member of the Army National Guard and has served tours overseas including in Iraq.
“They trained us as a combat life saver so we’re trained to go in whether you got gunfire or explosions or whatever is around you, you ignore it, you assess a patient. As you walk up, you’re assessing them as you walk up there to them, that way you know exactly what to do when you get there,” Yeakley said.
For his efforts, Yeakley has been given the designation of “Highway Angel” by the Truckload Carriers Association and was given a special sticker to display that honor on the side of his truck.