Officers saw vehicle smoking and burning—but what was inside—bodycams caught it all

December 30, 2017 12:14 pm Last Updated: December 30, 2017 12:14 pm

Police undergo intensive training before they’re asked to patrol the streets. It’s their job to make sure everyone is safe and away from danger. That often means putting themselves in danger as a result.

Most days as an officer won’t include dramatic, life-saving measures. When the job is done right, the difference an officer makes is often not an obvious one, but never is it as obvious as when they save someone from clear and present danger.

In dramatic footage captured by the officers’ body cameras, two Milwaukee teenagers are alive because of the bravery shown by local officers.

There were three people in the car, two of them only 16-years old. Without the intervention by responding officers Nicholas Schlei and Nicholas Reid, both 23, the boys wouldn’t be alive today.

While driving on a suburban road in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am hit a utility pole, overturned, and caught fire.

There were three teenaged boys in the car.

Facebook/Milwaukee Police Department

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, one of the boys was able to extract himself before the police arrived. But the other two were unconscious in the car as smoke filled the cabin and the flames rose higher.

The flames first started in the engine compartment and were growing rapidly.

“The flames, by the time I got out there, were too big for a fire extinguisher,” Officer Reid told reporters. “We knew we had to get those boys out.”

“I knew the car had the potential to become engulfed but at the time that’s not what we were thinking,” said Officer Schlei.

With the flames growing quickly, the officers realized they didn’t have much time. With no gloves, and in sub-zero temperatures, they pulled the boys out of the flaming vehicle.

Facebook/Milwaukee Police Department

As the officers pulled the unconscious boys from the wreckage, they repeatedly yelled at onlookers to get away from the burning vehicle.

The first boy was pulled out of the car and dragged to a safe distance from the vehicle. As the officer radioed a description of the teenager, he sprinted back to the car to extract the remaining passenger.

The two officers were able to get the boys free and clear from the car in less than 60 seconds.

It was a startlingly impressive performance when it was needed most.

“It feels like a lot longer when you’re doing it though,” said Schlei.

Facebook/Milwaukee Police Department

The officers are only two years removed from the police academy. Compared to some of their senior officers, they’re green on the force and have a lot to learn.

But they showed impressive decisiveness in their heroism. For their bravery, they will be nominated for a Milwaukee Police Department Merit Award.

But for the officers, it’s all in a days work. They don’t think they did anything other officers would have failed to do. Officer Reid was adamant that any officer who saw the boys in distress would have done the same.

“To help save someone, there’s no better feeling,” Reid said. “That’s why we joined and that’s why we’re cops.”

VIDEO: District Four Officers Save Two People From Burning Vehicle

Officers from District Four of the Milwaukee Police Department took their duties to protect and serve to the next level and rescued two occupants of a burning vehicle on the City’s Northwest Side. Officers Nicholas Schlei and Nicholas Reid were on patrol near N. 55th and W. Villard Avenue when they witnessed a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am lose control, strike a utility pole, and start on fire. Officers Schlei, Reid, and other officers from District Four risked their own lives and pulled the driver, a 16-year-old Milwaukee male, and another teenage male passenger from the car. A third teenage male passenger from the vehicle was located nearby. All three victims were transported to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries. The driver of the vehicle will be cited for failure to yield and reckless driving. Officers Schlei and Reid will be nominated for a MPD Merit Award and the Department is grateful for their heroic actions!

Posted by Milwaukee Police Department on Wednesday, December 27, 2017