Accident victim visits firefighters who came to her rescue
By Brian Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org September 22, 2012 6:58PM
Brittany Pirc visits with firefighters at Fire Station 3 in Joliet, Illinois, Thursday, September 20, 2012. Brittany suffered critical injuries when her car was struck by a semi in March. She was pulled from the wreck by Joliet Firefighters. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun Times Media
Updated: October 24, 2012 6:26AM
Brittany Pirc went out for lunch on her first day back at school.
“We love having guests. It means we eat well,” Joliet firefighter Matt Hornbuckle said.
The Providence High School student was invited to Station 3 so the crew could share a better experience than the last time some of them saw the 17-year-old.
On March 27, Brittany was driving a pickup truck when she was T-boned by a semi truck at Schweitzer Road and Route 53. Though she was extracted from the vehicle within minutes, Brittany suffered a traumatic brain injury and spent weeks in a medically induced coma.
Firefighter Dave Eichholzer was off on the day of Brittany’s accident but is a friend of her mother, Tina, a Lockport Township firefighter.
“I think the progress she’s made (in her recovery) is amazing and I thought the guys would enjoy seeing how far she’s come,” Eichholzer said.
Between school and a therapy session Thursday, Brittany and Tina stopped by join the shift eating Eichholzer’s pork chops, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, salad and banana pudding.
“This is the best cooking we’ve gotten from Eichholzer in three years,” one firefighter said.
Brittany wanted to make sure it was OK that she started taking the dishes first, even while the firefighters insisted on it.
Brittany seemed like a typical teen forced to hang out with adults, while the firefighters tried their best to be polite to each other.
Brittany doesn’t remember the crash but she was able to name the nine dogs she and her friend Lauren walk in the neighborhood every day. A longtime animal lover, Brittany fought to keep a pet Nigerian dwarf goat last year after a resident’s complaint turned into a zoning issue.
“Two of the dogs are smaller dogs. The bigger dogs try to pull me sometimes,” she said.
The officers agreed dogs are easier to wrangle than firefighters.
“And feed,” Capt. Ron Fox added.
Eichholzer was just glad the guest of honor enjoyed the meal.
“I’m a very tender-hearted person. I’d have cried if you didn’t,” he told Brittany, bringing a smile to her face.