The Aegis
Harford County

Level Fire Company volunteer and friend save two from burning vehicle

A Level Volunteer Fire Company firefighter and EMS and her friend helped pull two people trapped in a burning car to safety late Saturday night following a crash at Routes 136 and 22 in Churchville.

One of Level Volunteer Fire Company's top EMS responders and a friend helped save two lives late Saturday night, fire company officials said.

They pulled two people from a burning car that had crashed into a tree and caught fire, Maryland State Police said Tuesday.

At 11:56 p.m. Saturday, Level fire company was alerted for a vehicle crash and ensuing fire at the intersection of Routes 136 and 22, according to a news release from the fire company.


Moments before the alert, Level firefighter/EMT Rachel Itzoe was walking into her nearby house and heard the crash. She and a friend, Greg Frost, immediately ran the approximately 300 feet to the scene and assessed the situation, according to the release.

Itzoe and Frost found two critically injured victims still in the burning vehicle. Without hesitation Itzoe, who answered the second-most EMS calls for Level in 2016, made the immediate decision to pull both victims from the burning vehicle.


With the assistance of Frost, a former Marine and Eagle Scout, they pried the doors open and pulled both victims to safety, according to the release. Just seconds after the victims were pulled from the wreckage, the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames.

"I feel like it's not a big deal, I just did what I was trained to do," Itzoe said.

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Crews from the Level Volunteer Fire Company and the Harford County Fire and EMS Foundation, whose EMS crews are based at Level, arrived within four minutes and assisted with patient care. Firefighters extinguished the fire.

Troopers from the Maryland State Police Bel Air Barrack who investigated the accident said James Grace, of Priestford Road in Street, was driving a Ford Escort south on Route 136.

According to Cpl. Stanley of the MSP, after Grace crossed Route 22 without stopping at Route 136 – troopers said they don't know if the light at the intersection was red or green – the Escort hit a tree and caught fire. State police were notified of the crash at 12:02 a.m. Sunday, Stanley said.

Grace and his female passenger, a woman from Abingdon in her early 20s who police did not identify by name, were pulled out of the car by Itzoe and Frost, Stanley said.

The two were taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Maryland Shock Trauma Center, both in Baltimore, by ambulance units from Level Volunteer Fire Company and Aberdeen Fire Department, according to Level VFC.

Charges are pending against Grace, Stanley said.

"If it were not for the quick thinking and selfless response to get the patients out of the car the outcome may not have turned out as well," Level Fire Company President Sandra Gallion said


Harford County Councilman Chad Shrodes posted on Level fire company's Facebook page: "We are so fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers who serve their community. Thank you!"