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Local first responders honored

first respondersBy MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

Pulaski County first responders were recognized Monday night for going above and beyond the call of duty during a January storm that caused wind damage and flooding in Pulaski County.

Pulaski County Board of Supervisors approved a Resolution of Appreciation and presented it to a group of first responders at its meeting Monday night. The resolution stemmed from the late January wind storm and flooding events that damaged 22 homes, a church, a store and the New River Valley Fairgrounds.

According to the resolution, “local fire, EMS and law enforcement officials assisted crews from Virginia Department of Transportation and Appalachian Power Company as they opened roads, secured power lines, and placed tarps on homes with roof damage.”

The resolution points out that a steady rain continued to fall throughout the evening, causing flash flooding and stranding a motorist in swift waters on Eanes Ferry Road, with water entering her car. It points out that Hiwassee and Snowville fire departments, REMSI stations 1, 3, and 4, Dublin Fire Department and Radford Fire Department’s swift water team responded and used a large excavator and local personnel to rescue the woman.

Then, when the New River overflowed its banks Jan. 31, the resolution says, “fire department volunteers, sheriff’s department employees, and other first responders were critical in helping to evacuate citizens from affected neighborhoods.

“The diligence and dedication of first responders and public safety personnel resulted in swift and safe actions preventing injuries and loss of life. … Pulaski County Board of Supervisors does recognize the valiant efforts of our first responders in working during emergency situations, including the countless hours of service above and beyond the call of duty,” the document concludes.

Josh Tolbert, Pulaski County emergency services director, gave particular recognition to three of the first responders at the board meeting. He said it was Mark Bentley who operated the excavator that rescued the woman from floodwaters off Eanes Ferry Road, while Bill Burton and Craig Hudgins rode inside the excavator’s bucket.

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