Asiana Flight 214 first responders hailed as heroes

(CBS News) Many of the survivors aboard Asiana Flight 214 crash owe their lives to the swift and heroic actions of emergency personnel who were on the scene within minutes.

This was the scene that met the more than 100 first responders who rushed to Saturday's crash site: burning wreckage with passengers trapped inside, and very little time to help them.

Lt. Crissy Emmons, of the San Francisco Fire Department, said: "When the situation goes bad, it goes bad really fast. Entering the plane we had seen the amount of fuel that was dumping out of that wing, I knew that we had to get those passengers off the plane."

Lt. Dave Monteverdi, also of the San Francisco Fire Department, added: "My first reaction was, like, it wasn't real. And when you get to the scene, it kind of like clicks, and you just start, your training takes over."

Among the heroes that morning, an Asiana flight attendant, Lee Yoon-hye, who literally carried passengers to safety on her back. Many passengers climbed out of the plane unaided. But some were unable to escape on their own.

When Lt. Emmons walked to the back of the plane to see who was there, she said she "saw multiple patients in different states. Some looked like they may be semi-conscious, one gentleman was groaning, one person looked trapped to me."

Monteverdi, who ran up an escape chute to get into the cabin, remembers one passenger in particular.

"He was just moaning and moaning," he said. "We were hoping to get a back board and clear him out. And that's when you could see the dark smoke was coming toward us. And we pretty much just had to grab him and go."

Two 16-year-old girls died as a result of the crash. They were students from China, planning to attend an educational church camp in California. Their parents, along with the parents of other students who survived left Shanghai Monday, headed to the U.S. to be with their children.

A dozen of those classmates met Monday with the Chinese Consul General -- many still undecided whether to return home, or attend the camp -- without their two lost friends.