Off-duty firefighter in right place at the right time for arroyo rescue

Posted at: 08/14/2014 6:09 PM
Updated at: 08/14/2014 6:18 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Although she was wet, dirty and a little shaken up, the 16-year-old girl who was swept in an Albuquerque arroyo yesterday is okay.

AFD firefighter Greg Vallejos was the first on the scene at the Embudo Arroyo, but he wasn't responding to a call from work.

"I was on my way from a doctor's appointment. I was driving through the Winrock parking lot and I noticed a lot of commotion. A couple of people told me that somebody was trapped in the arroyo," Vallejos said.

He was alone and didn't have his equipment to pull the girl out. He acted fast, calling dispatch. That's when two APD officers came to help.

"They tied their two jackets together and went down there. I went along and informed them that I'm an off-duty firefighter," he said.

All three worked to pull the teen to safety. Vallejos says although his adrenaline was rushing, he knew exactly what to do.

"It was like I was at work. I just thought to get somebody who's in need and get them to safety," he said.