Miami-Dade Police officers honored after saving man from burning car on Palmetto Expressway

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Four Mami-Dade officers were honored for their bravery, Friday, after they saved a man from a car engulfed by flames in the middle of the night.

Friday morning, the four Miami-Dade Police officers who helped save the driver’s life in the fiery wreck were honored one by one for their actions, during a special ceremony in front of their fellow officers, Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

One of these brave police officers had only been on the force for five months, but his short time on the force did not stop him from the call of duty. “We worked together to get this guy out as fast as possible,” said Officer Edward Brochu.

Although they are heroes, the four humble officers agree they were simply doing their job to their fullest potential. “Just get to him,” said Officer Joseph Vallejos. “There were no questions asked. Just get to him.”

All of them knew they had to act quickly to make this dramatic rescue.

“Acting quickly is very paramount in situations like this,” said Officer Gepsy Perez.

“We got there on time. No one else was injured, and it felt great” added Brochu.

RELATED: Driver lucky to be alive after fiery wreck in Southwest Miami-Dade

These exemplary officers do not take the badge they wear to work for granted. “I tell myself every day, I wear this badge with pride, and I tell myself, ‘This is the best job in the world,'” said Officer Yovani Sosa.

The four brave officers said they had no time to stop and think, they just came up with a plan quickly and got to work. “When I arrived, I saw the car engulfed in flames,” said officer Vallejos. “I immediately asked a bystander, ‘Is there a man inside the vehicle?’ At which point I looked inside the vehicle, I confirmed there was a man in the vehicle, and that’s when my partners arrived and they helped me get him out of the car without having further injuries.”

Body camera footage showed the Miami-Dade Police officers as they desperately worked to save the driver from a fiery wreck on the side of the Palmetto Expressway, Thursday, at around 1 a.m.

The driver, 21-year-old Luis Carlos Aloma, was pulled out onto the pavement, alive and safe thanks to the officers’ daring rescue. Moments after he was pulled out from his vehicle, the car was completely engulfed by flames.

“At 1:45 a.m., the majority of us are sleeping,” said Perez, “but while we’re sleeping and our minds are dreaming, there’s people out there doing extraordinary things.”

“I’m very happy for the gentleman whose life you saved, but I’m also very proud of you for putting your lives at risk and doing what we do best in Miami-Dade,” said Gimenez.

“This gentleman is going to be able to celebrate this Christmas with their family, thanks to these officers who, instead of running away from danger, ran towards danger, did everything to get him out of the car,” said Joe Sanchez of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Leading up to the fire, troopers said, Aloma was speeding with no headlights when he lost control of his car, crashed into the barrier wall and flipped.

“Whether he is at fault of not at fault, the officer’s responsibility is there to save lives, and that is exactly what they did,” said Sanchez.

After the rescue, paramedics rushed Aloma to Kendall Regional Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition inside the intensive care unit. However, he is expected to recover.

“I know that at times police officers are criticized, but let me tell you, I can guarantee you, 98 percent of our officers are dedicated officers to make a difference,” said Sanchez. “They put their lives in danger, and today is a perfect example.”

While the officers are thankful for their recognition, they said they were simply doing their job.


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