BAILEYTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — What would you do if your car happened to catch on fire at the gas pump?
When it recently happened to one local teenager, she jumped into action — potentially saving the lives of her young brothers and preventing what could have been a devastating tragedy for everyone there.
In light of this, a surprise ceremony was held at North Greene High School Monday afternoon for the student, senior Jada Tweed.
“We spend a lot of time honoring people who do well in academics, athletics and a myriad of other things,” Greene County Mayor Kevin Morrison in front of the entire student body. “Today, we get to honor somebody truly special for their heroics. And their courage.”
Morrison called Jada down to sit with her family, first responders and other county officials in front of her classmates.
The senior was singled out for her brave actions on Oct 20.
Officials say Jada was pumping gas at the Pilot Travel Center in Baileyton when her car suddenly caught fire under the hood. She not only quickly evacuated her two young siblings from the burning car, but jumped into action to prevent what could have been a horrible tragedy.
“Your quick, calm, collected and deliberate actions to recognize a spontaneous and quickly growing vehicle fire, to warn the travel center staff, evacuate your siblings from the vehicle, and limit injury to others and damage to the fuel pumps despite great risk to your own personal safety, reflects the very best qualities and the highest character,” Morrison said during Monday’s ceremony.
Jada’s quick response meant all pumps were turned off quickly and a potential disaster was averted. She also quickly removed the pump from her own car so it would not catch fire.
For her heroic actions, Jada was given multiple certificates and proclamations from Greene County 911 and the Greene County Commission recognizing her bravery Monday. Rep. Diana Harshbarger’s office presented Jada with a certificate of special congressional recognition for heroic action.
She also was named the very first “Greene County Citizen Hero” and gifted a medal by Mayor Morrison.
“Your flawless decision-making under the most dangerous conditions greatly exceeds the ability of some of our best trained and prepared emergency response professionals,” said Morrison to Jada.
But that’s not all. Jada also received the surprise of a lifetime Monday, one that even moved her to tears.
During the ceremony, officials from Pilot presented her with the keys to her new car, thanks to a partnership between Pilot and Harper Auto. She also received one year of free fuel from Pilot.
“I really don’t even know what to think. It shocked me, honestly. But I am really excited,” Jada told News Channel 11.
Meg Counts, senior manager of Giving for Pilot, said they were grateful Jada’s actions prevented loss of life and saved their Baileyton station.
“It just blew us away to hear about this young gal stepping in, acting quick and putting safety first,” Counts said.
Jada said she never expected any of the recognition, certainly not the car, but she is beyond grateful.
“We thought it was a wonderful story of heroism. We wanted to help celebrate and recognize her for what she did,” said Counts.
Morrison also named this Saturday “Jada Tweed Citizen Hero Day” in all of Greene County.