NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A solid waste employee was honored, Tuesday, for jumping into action as a first responder to help a police officer trapped in his cruiser after a crash.

Christopher Cummings is employed by Miami-Dade’s Solid Waste Management Department and, on March 21, witnessed a horrific crash involving a Miami-Dade Police cruiser.

“He pulled the officer out,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez at the ceremony. “He quite literally saved his life.”

Cummings said he was driving near Northwest 87th Street and 18th Avenue at around 10:30 a.m. when he saw the cruiser and another car collide.

Cummings was with his family at the Stephen P. Clark Center where city officials and police honored his heroic actions. “I just want to thank everyone this morning for just taking time for me,” said Cummings.

Those in attendance rose to their feet, cheering for Cummings as he wiped tears from his eyes. “It’s God that’s working in me,” said Cummings. “Thank God I was at the right place at the right time.”

Cummings’ wife of 18 years, Irene, was standing by his side as the award was presented. “To see that change in him and to know that if God changed him, God can change each and every one of us.”

“Twenty years ago, I used to be homeless,” said Cummings. “Twenty years ago, I used to eat out a garbage can. Twenty years ago, I used to smoke crack cocaine.”

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said Cummings used his second chance to be the good Samaritan he is today. “As you said today, God gave you a second chance. You have chosen to make a difference, and you gave somebody a second chance.”

Cummings said, at one point of his life, he didn’t find the purpose in living. “I remember at one time, I didn’t care about a life,” he said, “and now here I am, able to save a life.”

Perez said Cummings has yet to meet the officer involved in the collision, but that the Miami-Dade Police Department hopes to change that as soon as

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