• Bainbridge Island man thanking off-duty firefighter for saving his life

    By: Deedee Sun


    BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. - A Seattle firefighter is being recognized for his work off-duty. He saved a man who was not breathing and trapped in his SUV after a crash on I-90. 

    Now, that man is thanking the firefighter for saving his life.

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    Skip Walter and his wife, Jamie, were driving home to Bainbridge Island on I-90 when they got into a crash near the summit. What happened still isn’t clear. But before any first responders got there, off-duty Seattle firefighter Josh McBride saw the crash ahead.  

    “There was still debris in the air,” McBride said. He saw the mangled car, pulled over and saw that Walter still in the car. 

    McBride explained that the metal frame around the driver’s side of the windshield had folded inside the cabin of the car, and was pressing into Walter’s chest," was preventing him from taking a breath. 

    “He wasn't breathing, he was unconscious, (but he) had a pulse. The A-post had been creased and crushed into his chest,” McBride said. 

    McBride cleared the debris in the car, recognized the problem and lowered the seat back. 

    “And he was able to breathe again,” he said. “He regained consciousness about a minute and a half later.” 

    More than a month after the crash, 68-year-old Walter is still at Harborview. KIRO7’s Deedee Sun talked with him on the phone.  

    “I certainly wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Josh,” Walter said. “Who knew someone with his skill set was going to be so close behind us? For that we are certainly forever grateful.” 

    About 20 minutes after McBride got to this scene, Snoqualmie Fire & Rescue arrived, and McBride used their tools to cut Walter out of the car. 

    “The entire dash and whole hood had pushed down onto this legs, and that it was trapping him in the vehicle,” McBride said. 

    Walter's wife Jamie was also hurt in the crash, but Walter’s brother, son, and daughter, came to the station to thank McBride. Walter said he's also grateful they were able to find the man who saved his life. 

    “Josh is an amazing guy and incredibly humble,” Walter said. “We are so blessed. It's so rare that anyone's able to actually thank an actual individual,” he said.

    “I’m just lucky I had the opportunity to stop, do what I was taught, not screw up, and make the guys proud, I hope,” McBride said. 

    Walter said he doesn’t know how much longer he will need to stay at Harborview for his recovery, but he says he’s looking forward to the say he can walk into Fire Station 31, meet McBride and thank him in person. 

    “We’re going to get dinner together,” he said. “ I can’t wait.” 





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