Customers save victim stuck in St. Charles car wash machinery

  • Karlos Ingram and Martha Rossdahl helped save a person stuck in heavy machinery at a car wash. Their efforts earned them citizens awards from St. Charles leaders.

      Karlos Ingram and Martha Rossdahl helped save a person stuck in heavy machinery at a car wash. Their efforts earned them citizens awards from St. Charles leaders. James Fuller | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted11/29/2017 2:25 PM

If not for the quick action and calm temperament of Martha Rossdahl and Karlos Ingram, the incident at the St. Charles Auto Spa may have resulted in even worse trauma than what already occurred.

On Sept. 30, a person at the auto spa became entrapped in the business' heavy operating machinery. Witnesses called the St. Charles Fire Department for help. Every second it took for the emergency crews to arrive meant more physical damage to the victim.

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Rossdahl and Ingram were just customers, but they saw a fellow human in need. The two put their own bodies at risk by removing the steel cover to the machine pit where the emergency controls were located. They were able to shut down the machine that had entrapped the victim. The pair then worked to free the victim's leg from the equipment and began basic first aid efforts while waiting for the emergency medical crew to arrive.

"Their actions, above and beyond the normal expectations of a bystander, saved the victim from further injury," read the recommendation from the responding battalion shift for Rossdahl and Ingram to receive the department's citizenship award.

The pair recently accepted the awards. Ingram said Rossdahl deserves most of the credit as she acted as the catalyst for the rescue efforts of the two witnesses.

Mayor Ray Rogina honored them for putting the needs of a person in trouble ahead of their own at that moment.

"A lot of people don't bother to take care of their fellow man," Rogina said.

Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet said the award was well-deserved. Their actions helped ensure a more positive outcome for the victim than would have been the case if the machine continued to operate with the entrapped leg for a more extended period.

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