‘Truly a miracle:’ St. Pete firefighters reunite with 18-year-old they rescued

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.A St. Pete Fire Rescue crew was awarded for its quick-thinking and response to a motorcycle crash involving an 18-year-old. On Friday, that man and his family reunited with his rescuers.

In February, fire crews say Chase Batchelder was in a serious motorcycle crash at the intersection of Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd. and 30th Ave. The crash caused Batchelder to go into traumatic cardiac arrest.

“In his situation, there’s a 1% or less chance of survival,” Lt. Adam LePrevost said. “So, he is literally why there’s still a 1% chance.”

Firefighters and paramedics immediately started CPR and other lifesaving measures on Batchelder.

“When we got to him, he was taking that last breath, pulse was going away,” William Fletcher, a firefighter and paramedic with SPFR, said.

Batchelder was taken to Orlando Health Bayfront, where doctors and nurses were ultimately able to save him.

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So this outcome is truly a miracle,” Danielle Batchelder, Chase’s mother, said, adding she raced to the hospital after getting a call saying her son was there.

Batchelder spent three weeks in the ICU. He’s since been discharged and is recovering.

“From the state we left him into, you know, at Bayfront, to see him now is unbelievable,” LePrevost said.

On Friday, the crew from SPFR Station 4 that rescued Batchelder received the EMS Excellence Award, with Batchelder and his family in attendance.

“It’s something that we don’t get to see very often,” LePrevost said.

Danielle Batchelder says her son is her best friend, so she’s extremely grateful for this outcome.

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“This kid is everything to me, and he knows it,” Danielle Batchelder said. “I remember one of the nurses, when I was out of the room, asked him, ‘You and your mom have a really close bond’. And he looks at her and he goes, ‘She’s my best friend’.”

Lt. Adam LePrevost and firefighter William Fletcher say the positive outcome in this situation is just as rewarding for them.

“This is what it’s all about, honestly,” Fletcher said. “Being a public servant and then rendering care on this, which is just in the moment, it’s stressful. You just fall back on your training. But this definitely brings it all home. Why we’re here and why we’re doing it.”

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Batchelder and his family were grateful to be able to reunite with the first responders on Friday and thank them for their work.

“They’re family,” Danielle Batchelder said. “Whether they like it or not, they’re part of our family.”

Fire crews say Batchelder was wearing a helmet, which saved him from even more, very serious injuries.