Knives are great for use as tools, in self-defense or even just to build a collection. Every knife owner has their own personal reason for wanting to own knives.

But another reason is that a knife can literally save your life.

Over the years, various knife associations and other groups have collected stories about how use of a knife saved someone’s life. They are the kind of stories that knife owners like to hear and share.

How Knives Saved Lives: The True Stories

The following are a few of the best of those stories from recent years.

Saved From Burning Truck

David Kieffer was driving his pick-up truck on Route 20 near Marengo, Ill., when he was rear-ended by a semi-truck and his Chevrolet S-10 burst into flames. Trapped inside, fighting desperately to get out, Kieffer suddenly saw Dan Narciso and James Halterman run up to the truck.

Halterman, a National Guard veteran who served three tours in Afghanistan, used a knife to cut the seatbelt. He and Narcisco, a stuntman, then pulled Kieffer from the truck. The county sheriff later honored the pair at a ceremony in which Halterman received a new knife (his previous one had burned in the truck).

Icy River Crash

A former police officer driving on a cold winter’s day in Utah saw that a car had slid off the road and into a river off U.S. 89. He quickly saw that the car had children inside. The car floated upside down in the river. The man, Chris Willden, immediately jumped into the river and swam to the car.

Using is gun, he shot out a window. He then used his pocket knife to cut lose a seatbelt, freeing a trapped child and pulling her through a rear window. With the help of other people who arrived at the scene, they managed to upright the car, a Honda Accord. While one child – a four-year-old boy, had to be revived at the scene using CPR, he survived. So did the two little girls in the car, both 9 years old.

Escalator Rescue

Sometimes, it’s the incidents that don’t make the national news that deserve some attention. A man walking through the Forest Hills subway station in the New York City borough of Queens saw a woman – apparently a little drunk and carrying a lot of bags – get her skirt caught in the escalator.

Now, this is no laughing matter. Escalator accidents such as this have led to deaths in the past, including strollers getting caught in the escalator or, unfortunately, people falling on an escalator and getting their clothing caught.

So why didn’t you read about this woman in New York? Because Andrew Zalesk was nearby and he was carrying a pocket knife. He quickly used the knife to cut her skirt and free her from the machinery, helped her gather her spilled packages and they then went their separate ways.

That’s the way a knife can save a life. Relay these stories next time someone tells you that carrying a knife is a not a good idea or is a waste of time.