First Responder of the Week: Ridgeville Twp. firefighter Mike Weber

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RIDGEVILLE TWP., Ohio (WTVG) - Mike Weber is not one to seek out accolades or the spotlight.

Mike Weber

"I'm not one to put myself in the spotlight ever. I like to be in the background, but I'm honored that Dave feels that way and I'm glad to be here," the Ridgeville Township volunteer firefighter said.

He's referring to Dave Von Deylen, who sent in the nomination, recognizing Weber for something that happened 14 years ago. And it's because of his quick action that Weber is our First Responder of the Week.

Von Deylen was moving logs with his nephew and young son, Jake, when he got out of the tractor without putting it in park. The massive piece of machinery rolled down a ditch and pinned Dave into the dirt at his waist.

Jake was only 8-years-old at the time, but he remembers it like it was yesterday. He said his instinct was to run for help, and he ended up at the door of his uncle, John Gruenhagen.

"I couldn't even say anything, I was just mumbling words, screaming. And somehow he understood me that there was a problem," the younger Von Deylen said.

While Gruenhagen's wife called 911, he followed the boys to the ditch and quickly jumped into the tractor, which the Von Deylens were borrowing from him.

Meanwhile, the emergency page went out. Mike Weber lived nearby and made the call to head straight to the scene, without equipment or personnel to help. Ridgeville Township Fire Chief Dan Benecke says that quick decision may have been a lifesaver, since several members of the volunteer fire department happened to be in Bowling Green for training that day.

Weber arrived on the scene, quickly checked Von Deylen's pulse and then opened his airway, moving him as little as possible. Friends and family remember Weber's demeanor as focused and collected.

"I may have been showing calmness, but I'm sure I wasn't feeling that at the time," Weber said.

Von Deylen has no recollection of that day, but he does know that within 15 minutes, he was in an air ambulance, being transported to a hospital.

Though doctors were doubtful he would survive, he went on to make what he described as a miraculous recovery, even walking into the fire station six months later on his own to meet the man who came to his aid that day.

"Mike and I stood right outside the door there .... and I said, 'Thanks for this opportunity,'" he laughed.

Weber remembers that moment as well. However, he credits a greater power for Dave's recovery.

"That's basically who saved Dave. Not me or anybody else. We just did what we were trained to do," Weber said.

If you know a first responder who goes above and beyond, we are taking nominations. The stories will air every Monday on Action News at 11.