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Joe Carter and Aman Shah, MD



They were off the clock and nowhere near the hospital, but when a physician and YNHH employee saw crises happen before their eyes, they jumped right in to help.

Early in the morning on Jan. 24, Joe Carter, a patient care associate on the Medical Oncology Unit (NP-12), was in Branford, checking on a family member during the snowstorm. As he drove by a multi-family house on East Main Street, he noticed an orange glow and realized it was a fire. Carter's wife, Nakyshia Carter, an ED technical associate, called 911 while Carter ran into the house, kicking in doors. Five people inside three separate apartments were sound asleep. Thanks to Carter, all of them, along with three dogs, escaped uninjured. The residents thanked him for saving their lives, but Carter, who hopes to become a firefighter, insists he's not a hero. As he told a local TV station, "It was all a plan from man upstairs. He had me at the right place at the right time. And that's just a blessing."

Two days later, on Jan. 26, Aman Shah, MD, a second-year Emergency Medicine resident, was off-duty and driving on the Wilbur Cross Parkway. He had missed his exit and was continuing along when he saw a car that had gone off the road at high speed and caught fire. Dr. Shah immediately stopped, and with the assistance of the state police and New Haven Fire Department, got the fire under control and the driver out. Dr. Shah began treating the critically injured patient and worked with the paramedics and EMTs to stabilize him. He continued to help care for the patient during transport to YNHH.

"Throughout the entire call Aman remained calm and collected, despite being thrown into an incredibly stressful scenario without the support of the resources of the ED," said Kevin Burns, PA-C, YNHH EMS coordinator, who met the ambulance en route to the hospital as part of the YNHH SHARP (Sponsor Hospital Area Response Physician) Team.

Dr. Shah downplayed his role in the event, praising the first responders. "The police and EMS/fire department members were exceptional," he said. "They were the true heroes."