ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The off-duty Albuquerque firefighter who used part of a bike to save a cyclist’s life, was honored Tuesday by his coworkers and the woman he helped save. The woman said his quick-thinking and compassion made all the difference, on a day she’ll never forget.
Fellow AFD firefighters honored EMS Captain Kerry McKinstry. His quick action in June helped save Julie Jordan.
“Stopping the bleeding from the femoral artery really did save my life,” Jordan told the room full of firefighters.
Jordan was riding her bicycle near Yale and Lomas, when she was hit by a garbage truck. McKinstry saw the aftermath while on a morning walk.
Jordan’s leg was severed, and she was lying in a pool of blood, underneath the garbage truck. McKinstry ran to the scene.
“A lot of times people think about what people do technically to save somebody’s life, but he was there and holding my hand and just being with me,” recalled Jordan.
A trained paramedic, the off-duty fireman also used Jordan’s bike tire by cutting out the tube and used it as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.
Jordan recalled seeing others gathered around the accident.
“I could see their legs because I was underneath the truck, and I could see their feet,” said Jordan. “I couldn’t see their faces. He was the only one that climbed under the truck and was actually with me.”
As a physical therapist, Jordan said she knew in the ambulance ride, that she’d lose her right leg.
Tuesday, Jordan’s spirits were high as she stood next to her husband, and watched their 8-year-old daughter, Zoe, go for a ride in a fire truck.
“It doesn’t do you any good to focus on yesterday,” said Jordan.
McKinstry was honored with a hero coin from the fire chief and an even bigger thank you.
“I really wanted to thank Kerry for saving my mom’s life,” said Jordan’s daughter, Zoe. “I was really sad when I first heard about it.”
What they didn’t know at the time, is that Jordan also had a ruptured spleen and was bleeding internally. When seconds mattered, McKinstry was there.
Jordan is walking again, and with physical therapy, she plans to get back on a bicycle. “I know that it’s a hard road, and it’s difficult, but it’s possible,” she said.
“I’m so blessed to be working with all you guys,” McKinstry told his fellow firemen. “I got a new buddy for life here,” he said, as he hugged Jordan.
Solid Waste officials told News 13 the garbage truck driver is still with the department as a laborer, but isn’t driving. They’re waiting on a final report from Albuquerque Police.