On April 1, 2014 at approximately 10:45 pm, 22 year old John Grunwald fell asleep at the wheel after an extra long day at work. John’s vehicle traveled across Mort Vining Rd in which he was traveling, and struck a tree. John was ejected through the windshield and was lying next to said vehicle as it burst into flames. Two citizens that were enjoying a relaxing evening at home with their families heard the crash. Both Bradford Emmelmann and Sean Langan ran out and observed John who was nearly unconscious next to the burning vehicle. The two dragged him from the vehicle and provided any care they could until help arrived.
A short time later, Officers Westcott, Taggart and Massai arrived on scene. Officers Westcott and Massai tended to the young man’s severe facial injuries. Officer Westcott described the facial injuries as severe and was bleeding profusely. Officer Westcott who is the department’s medical training officer, used everything in his med kit to control the bleeding. The wounds were wrapped and packed in an attempted to control the bleeding until Southwick Fire Department’s Ambulance arrived. Emt’s Michael Ferraraccio and John Whackerbath joined the fight to save this young man’s life. The young man was then transported to Bay State Medical Center with the assistance of an ALS Unit from the Westfield Fire Department. This life saving event was a total team effort!
If it wasn’t for the Langan and Emmelmann pulling this John away from the burning vehicle and, Officers Westcott and Massai controlling the vast amount of blood loss, it was more probable than not that this young man would not have survived this accident.
Chief of Police David A. Ricardi presented the two citizens with an “Outstanding Citizen Award” for their Uncommon Courage, Bravery and Self-Sacrifice they exhibited and, a “Life Saving Award” to Officers Westcott and Massai for their extraordinary life saving efforts they provided in helping a citizen in need.
John Grunwald and his family were present at the ceremony to thank all involved first hand. John’s father, Tom Grunwald read a very heartwarming thank you to all involved, expressing his and his wife’s sincere gratitude to all who helped in the efforts to save their son’s life.
Congratulations to Brad Emmelmann, Sean Langan, and to Officers Mike Westcott and Dave Massai on a job they can be very proud of!!!