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 who became 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 was celebrated Tuesday for his selfless actions.

“I just want to thank everyone this morning for just taking time for me,” Cummings said.

His family and the Miami-Dade Police Department were on hand to recognize him, Tuesday.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said a few words about the save. “Pulled the officer out and quite literally saved his life.”

Cummings was so moved by everyone as they stood to their feet that he began to tear up. “It’s God that’s working in me, and I thank God that I was at the right place at the right time,” he said.

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

She even said that the man who stood in front of the crowded room on Tuesday is a better man than the one she met two decades ago.

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

He received many thanks Tuesday, which validated how his hard work has paid off.

“You said it yourself. God gave you a second chance, and you have chosen to make a difference, and you gave somebody a second chance,” said Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan Perez.

Cummings said that this incident has impacted him as well. “I remember, at one time, I didn’t care about a life, but now here I am trying to save a life,” he said.

He has not yet met the police officer that he saved, but Perez told 7News that he hopes to change that. Once the officer is feeling better, Perez said, he hopes to arrange a reunion.

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