Township Commissioners meetings are not usually the forum for tears or standing ovations, but at Lower Macungie's Oct. 4 meeting there wasn't a dry eye in the room.
Lower Macungie Fire Chief David Nosal approached the commissioners with an incredible story of bravery that ended with a surprising twist of integrity and gratitude.
Around midnight on Feb. 27, 2012, the Lower Macungie Fire Department and Macungie Ambulance were called to the scene of an accident at Lower Macungie and Brookside roads.
Seventeen-year-old Kyle Cope of Upper Milford Township lost control of his car and hit a traffic pole. The car hugged the pole in the same way a potholder wraps around the handle of a pot.
Nosal passed around three photos of the scene, the kind that make even the hardest heart wince.
First responders tried for 55 minutes to extricate Cope from the vehicle before calling a trauma team from Lehigh Valley Hospital. Cope's legs were stuck, and it was looking as though they would have to amputate them at the scene to save the boy's life.
At that point, Jeff Faust of Faust Towing stepped up and took a chance. There was a possibility, Nosal continued, that Faust could lift the car in a final effort to get Cope out in one piece.
Faust was only able to lift the car four inches, Nosal said, but it was enough to get Cope -- who had been trying to lift himself out the whole time by pulling himself up on the steering wheel -- out.
The reason Nosal came to the commissioners, however, was to present a plaque to Kyle and his parents, Melinda and David Cope, owners of GC Electric in Salisbury Township, who, out of gratitude for their son's life -- and limbs -- replaced all the lighting fixtures in Lower Macungie fire station in Wescosville, the Macungie Ambulance building and at Faust Towing at no cost.
The reason Nosal was there so many months later is that the job was delayed while Kyle recuperated.
"The family insisted on waiting to do the job until Kyle could do the work himself," Nosal said.