Although first responders are not always on the clock, they're always on the job.

Even when they're off duty, these brave men and women will still respond to a crisis to make a meaningful impact in any way they can, no matter where they are. Sometimes, this includes providing life-saving emergency services in the nick of time. 

Here we highlight three recent instances where these skilled professionals placed a priority on duty, service and a commitment to their values, even while off the job.

Captain Brad Petty, Chattanooga Fire Department

On a recent drive home following his son's wrestling tournament, Captain Brad Petty noticed a driver suddenly swerve and pull over to the side of the expressway about 34 miles southeast of Nashville, Tennessee. Then, according to the Captain, a person hopped out of the car to flag down someone.

Even with his family in the vehicle with him, Captain Petty knew he had a responsibility to stop and try to help. So he pulled over near the other car, only to discover another person in the passenger seat who was suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.

Captain Petty used his emergency response training by opening the victim's airway and applying pressure to the wound, as his daughter, Hannah Petty, called 911. The Petty family waited with the victim until assistance arrived and she was flown to a hospital in a medical helicopter.

Lieutenant Alex Meron and Paramedic Chelsee Meron, Moore Fire Department

The husband and wife couple of Lt. Alex Meron and Paramedic Chelsee Meron recently returned home from a trip. As they made their way through the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, they noticed what they thought at first to be a sleeping man in the baggage claim area. But being the keen-eyed first responders they are, they realized something didn't look right, so the pair decided to check the man's pulse. That's when they discovered he didn't have a pulse.

Immediately, Lt. Meron started administering CPR. Meanwhile, Paramedic Meron darted off to locate the closest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in the airport.

Thankfully, Lt. Meron's CPR attempts worked, and he was able to resuscitate the man and get his pulse started before the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) arrived to take the man to the hospital.

Staff Sergeant Jason Mendoza-Anaya, US Air Force

While doing his laundry at a Colorado Springs laundromat in 2020, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jason Mendoza-Anaya, 21st Force Support Squadron unit training manager, heard a guy scream, start to shake and fall over. The man hit his head on a metal chair as he fell and continued shaking on the ground.

Sgt. Mendoza-Anaya recognized the severity of the incident and rushed to the man's side, who was now bleeding from his head wound and still convulsing. Mendoza-Anaya took charge of the situation, directed another laundromat patron to call 911 and another person to see if the man had any medication for seizures he needed in his bags. Meanwhile, Mendoza-Anaya tried to get a pen or pencil into the man's mouth so he didn't bite his tongue off during the seizure, but it was too late, and blood was pooling out of the man's mouth.

Mendoza-Anaya got the man on his side so the blood would spill out and the man wouldn't choke, and then wrapped his sweater around the man's head so he wouldn't cause more damage if he hit it against the floor.

He continued this until an ambulance with on-duty first responders arrived and took over medical care. After applying a neck brace on the man, he woke up and lived.

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

We thank these heroic off-duty first responders, along with every emergency professional who puts their lives on the lines for the public's safety.