Acts of Heroism

Published 11:26 am Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Challenging and dangerous circumstances brought out the heroes in Lawrence County.

Several volunteer fire departments had their hands full with water rescues Sunday night and early Monday morning.

Lonnie Best, director of the Lawrence County 911 Center, confirmed that there were 15 calls for water rescue in Lawrence County during that time. Six of those calls were for vehicles in high water.

The Chesapeake/Union Volunteer Fire Department rescued a couple and their two-week-old baby, said Ed Webb, assistant chief.

The rescue happened around 3:30 a.m. Monday morning in the Indian Guyan trailer park in Chesapeake. About 3 feet of water was surrounding the house, Webb said.

“That really put it into perspective how fast water can come up,” Webb said.

Webb was told that the family stayed at a hotel or with family following the rescue.

Rescues like this are rare, but the department does have equipment it needs for such occasions, Webb said.

“We have a rescue boat, it’s available when it’s needed,” Webb said. “We loaded it and we needed it last night.”

Not only did the rescue boat come in handy, the department’s training did too, he said.

“You take a lot of risks but you do it in a safe and good way,” he said. “It comes back again to training, training, training. All of the (firefighters) came to an understanding last night of why we’re doing it. It paid off last night.”

One of the department’s first calls of the night was a downed tree around 10:30 p.m. The Chesapeake/ Union firefighters worked until about 6 a.m.

Besides the Chesapeake/Union fire department, departments that responded to water rescues Sunday night include Proctorville, Windsor Township, Burlington Township, Upper Township, Coal Grove, Perry Township, Burlington-Fayette, South Point, Decatur Township, Elizabeth Township, Aid Township and the Disaster Immediate Response Team from Cabell County, W.Va.