Quick, heroic work from Pasadena firefighters saves woman's life following dramatic pursuit

The quick work by Pasadena firefighters saved the life of a crash victim after a violent end to a pursuit in Pasadena on Thursday.

Playing out on live TV, the chase came to a dramatic and violent end in Pasadena when the driver of a white pickup truck slammed into a Toyota SUB in the middle of an intersection.

The woman driving that SUV was taken to Huntington Beach Memorial Hospital in serious condition. On Friday, the Pasadena fire team that rescued her shared those tense moments.

"To actually see it happen on TV, understand what the potential issues are, and to arrive and evaluate that it takes a real cool head to do that," said Deputy Fire Chief Bryan Frieders.

Frieders and his team at Fire Station 31 were watching the pursuit on TV when they saw the crash and sprang into action by dispatching on their own. Once on scene, these heroic firefighters with heavy equipment in hand, began the painstaking process of removing the solo female driver from the wreckage.

"The jaws of life we call the hydraulic spreader...they actually can move the metal away from the vehicle and move it away from the patient inside of the Vehicle so they can safely get them out," said Frieders. "The time they got on scene from the time that person was extricated was 14 minutes, which is just another example of excellent work by very diligent competent members of the Pasadena Fire Department."

Bell Gardens authorities identified the pursuit suspect as 52-year-old Fernando Octavio Frenes, a self-admitted gang member who was on probation for assault. He is being held at the L.A. County Jail facing multiple charges including grand theft auto, felony hit-and-run, evading a peace officer and causing serious injury and violation of probation.