Crash, responding OKCPD officer set Deer Creek firefighter on path to “pay it forward” 10 years later

 

DEER CREEK, Okla. - A volunteer firefighter says he's paying it forward, ten years after an Oklahoma City Police Officer helped him in a car crash.

Shaun Pryor, 35, is a branch manager for an appliance parts distributor, but works as a firefighter with the Deer Creek Fire Protection District at least once a week.

"I serve my community and I couldn’t be prouder," said Pryor, who started with the department about three months ago.

"There’s something about being there for somebody in that moment, when they’re at their worst, when you can be there to help them, this is my calling, this is where God wants me."

A place Pryor says he's come to after a car crash ten years ago, to date, when he was struck by a distracted driver.

“Got up to the intersection and next thing I knew, sky-ground, sky-ground," he said. "I cut my seat belt, crawled out the top of the vehicle, and just kind of stood there in the intersection, trying to figure out why my SUV was flipped over.”

Pryor says the first person he remembers coming to his aid was an Oklahoma City Police Officer, Billy Rankin.

“He was the first clear face I saw," said Pryor. "He sat me down in his car, I was sweating, I was bleeding."

"In that moment, on that day, when I saw him and he came up to me, talked to me, it’s almost emotional when I talk about it."

After a Facebook notification reminded Pryor of the series of events ten years ago, he took to Facebook Thursday to thank Rankin and the Oklahoma City Police Department, which in turn shared Pryor's story.

Both he and Rankin are set to meet each other Friday afternoon, one year plus one day after they last met.

Pryor says the events of that day ten years ago have reverberated with him and inspired him to find a way to help others, in this case, through being a volunteer firefighter.

"Absolutely, I’m paying it forward every day. I’ll be doing this until I can’t do it any more," he said.

"Everything you do and say has an echo, always make sure that the voice and echo that comes back is positive. This is proof.”