Dramatic video shoes two Milwaukee police officers rescuing two teenagers from a burning car earlier this week.
Nicknamed “The Nick Squad,” Officers Nicholas Schlei and Nicholas Reid were patrolling the Fourth District just after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night when they came upon a flipped 1999 Pontiac Grand Am unceremoniously married to a utility poll.
Flames were already burning at a dangerous pace–emanating from the vehicle’s engine compartment when the Nick Squad leapt into action. At a press conference on December 27, Reid said:
The flames, by the time I got out there, were too big for a fire extinguisher. We knew that we had to get those kids out.
The car was on its roof and neither one of the Nicks had gloves. As is common for this time of year in Milwaukee, the temperature was in single digits that night. Still, Reid and Schlei made the decision to attempt a rescue. As the fire raged on, two unconscious teenagers sat upside down and idle in the front-driver and back-passenger seats and the Nicks set to get them out.
The above video cuts in with one of the officers dragging one of the boys to safety. Then, he rushes back to help his partner quickly retrieve the other unconscious teen. The whole ordeal was over in less than 60 seconds.
Schei said, “I knew the car had the potential to become engulfed but at the time that’s not what we were thinking. It feels like a lot longer when you’re doing it though.”
The car’s three prior occupants–another teenage boy had already escaped by kicking out a window before police arrived–were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
The driver of the car will be charged with failure to yield and reckless driving. Meanwhile, the Nick Squad has been nominated for an award of merit. Reflecting on the incident, Reid said:
To help save someone, there’s no better feeling. I think that officers just like us, and at every Milwaukee police district station, even across the country, they would do the same thing. Because that’s why we joined and that’s why we’re cops.
[image and video courtesy Milwaukee Police Department]