BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Quick action by an off-duty Prince George’s County firefighter has earned him national recognition.

Alex DeMetrick reports, it started with a car fire that went from bad to worse in Brandywine last year.

An off-duty firefighter saw the car stopped, with flames just beginning to show.

“I started to knock on the window and at the same time pull on the door to see if it would open and there was no response,” says Assistant Chief Darren Ware, of PGFD.

The woman inside was having some kind of medical emergency, when she stomped on the accelerator and the burning car crashed into a ditch, driver’s side down.

“I unstrapped her seatbelt and reached over, actually had to get into the car, but reached over, picked her out of the driver’s seat and pull her across the passenger seat.”

Those actions saved the woman’s life. The car was destroyed. This summer, Ware will receive the American Legion’s National Firefighter of the Year award.

“The main thing I would say is we are out here to do a job,” he says. “Doesn’t matter who gets the award, just do the best we can to protect and serve the public.”

Ware’s national recognition follows an award for bravery from Prince George’s County.

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