1. #26
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    Jul 2001

    Default Passers-by save woman from sinking car


    Passers-by in Pompano save woman from sinking car

    By Robert Nolin
    Staff Writer

    February 5, 2003

    POMPANO BEACH, Fla · What would have been another canal drowning Monday
    afternoon instead became a heroic rescue after six passers-by snatched a
    woman from a sinking car and, one firefighter said, certain death.

    The 83-year-old woman, whose identity was not available, was driving near her
    condo in the 2800 block of Palm Aire Drive South in Pompano Beach around 5
    p.m. when she suddenly wheeled her Toyota Camry into a deep canal near a
    curve, Pompano Beach Fire-Rescue spokesman Ted Martin said.

    Robin Gorsky, driving by, saw the accident and clambered down the embankment.
    She quickly waved down Felix Singletary, an AT&T cable technician searching
    for an address. The woman's car was fast disappearing. "They could hear the
    lady screaming," Martin said.

    Singletary flagged down three men in a passing van -- Rivaldo Germano
    Guemano, Fabian Ramirez and Aldo Walter Silveira, all of Fort Lauderdale --
    and the group jumped into the water and tried to pull the car door open.

    Canal water made that impossible. The car continued to sink until its
    interior was full.

    "You couldn't even see anybody in the car," Singletary said. "Time was going
    by so quick, in a blur."

    A sixth man, Tommy Silichein, pulled over and dove in with the others. Once
    the water pressure in the car became equal, the six were able to heave open a
    door and pull the woman to safety.

    "They truly saved her life," Martin said. "This was a definite save. She was
    going under."

    The woman, with no obvious injuries, was taken to North Ridge Medical Center
    in Oakland Park for evaluation.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  2. #27
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    Jul 2001

    Default Boy drowns imitating scene from surf film


    Boy drowns imitating scene from surf film

    By Gabriel Margasak staff writer
    February 18, 2003

    PORT SALERNO, FL — The mission was to swim with a metal tow chain across the murky pond. The kids had seen something like it in a recent surfing movie. But in real life, the test of endurance left a 13-year-old boy dead and his friends and family in mourning. Rescue workers and divers late Sunday pulled the lifeless body of Anthony Alfonsin from a pond just down the street from his home on Highland Road. Martin County sheriff's spokeswoman Sgt. Jenell Atlas on Monday called the boy's death an accidental drowning. "He was just a kid, a typical teenager, full of life," said family friend Diana Revello, 44, as relatives and others gathered at the family's modest mobile home. "It's a very caring, close family, like something you'd find back in the 50s." Revello said Anthony's mother, Deborah Wilcox, and his four sisters and brother were making funeral arrangements for the Murray Middle School sixth-grader. And they tried to piece together what had happened at the pond. Several neighborhood children had met at the pond, brimming with the torrential rains that hit the area on Sunday afternoon, down a rutted dirt street off Salerno Road, just east of Kanner Highway. Revello and two of the children who were at the pond Sunday said they were emulating the surfer-girl flick "Blue Crush," in which a young wave-rider trains for competition by carrying a stone across the ocean bottom. Others said it could have been a television show. "They were playing a game, something they had seen in a movie or on TV," Revello said. "Each one of them was going to carry something across the lake." Four or five of the neighborhood kids had decided on a baby carriage, a milk jug and two chains, including about a 10-foot tow chain, authorities and witnesses said. "I went only a little bit of the way," said Danielle Stremski, 14. "I took it off because it was too heavy." Anthony took the chain and tied it around his waist. "We tried to help him, but it was too heavy ... he said he was drowning," she said. "The kids tried," Revello said. "He slipped from his brother's hands." The children went for help, ending up on the doorstep of Angela Unger, 29, whose 9-year old daughter was at the pond with her friends. Emergency workers got the call at 6:11 p.m. "Me and my husband just ran to the pond," Unger said. "It was mucky ... my husband was in the water for 20 minutes." She said rescue workers told them to get out of the 12- to15-foot deep water so they could continue the search. "We didn't want to stop trying," she said. Sheriff's deputies and county fire rescue divers searched for about 30 minutes before they found Anthony's body. Revello, meanwhile, called the death a tragedy. "Who knew it was that deep?" she said. "It's a shame."
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  3. #28
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    Jul 2001

    Default Children Feared Missing After Car Swept Off Bridge


    Children Feared Missing After Car Swept Off Bridge

    Rescue Team From Alabama Helps In Search

    February 17, 2003

    PULASKI, Tenn. -- Officials searched Monday for two Alabama youngsters missing after the car driven by their aunt was swept off a bridge in south Tennessee near the Alabama line in the wake of heavy rains. She survived after a dramatic rescue.
    The woman, Lisa Norwood, 31, was able to roll down a window and get out of the car, and then floated about 100 yards down the rain-swollen Elk River before being saved late Sunday night after three hours in the water, said Capt. Dennis Russell of the Giles County Rescue Squad.
    Ground crews and a helicopter were searching for 12-year-old Emmet Furguson and his sister, Eliza Furguson, 7, of Toney, Ala., just across the state line.
    Emergency officials said Norwood was unable to help the youngsters because of the swift current.
    The car was not recovered and was believed to be submerged with the two in it.
    "It's sad but that's about all we can do right now," Russell told The Daily Herald of Columbia.
    He said the current has been too swift for divers to recover the car.
    "We're hoping for a miracle," Valerie Rhoden, a cousin of the youngsters, told WKRN-TV of Nashville.
    Officials at the scene said a sign had been posted before the accident warning motorists about high water.
    A boat sent into the river to retrieve Norwood at a railroad bridge pylon capsized, leaving her and at least four rescuers in the water. All were pulled out by rope from the nearby bridge. She was treated for hypothermia and the rescuers suffered minor cuts and abrasions.
    A rescue squad from Elkmont, Ala., is helping with the search.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  4. #29
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    Default Woman escapes - Searchers Find Body Of Child In River


    Searchers Find Body Of Alabama Child In River

    Rescuers Continue Search For 12-Year-Old Boy

    February 18, 2003

    PULASKI, Tenn. -- The body of a north Alabama child missing for two days was
    found early Tuesday inside a car swept away by floodwaters, and searchers
    continued looking for a second missing youngster.
    The body of 7-year-old Eliza Furguson, of Toney, Ala., was recovered from a
    car that was swept off a bridge over the Elk River by high waters Sunday,
    said Kurt Pickering, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman.
    The search for her brother, 12-year-old Emmet Furguson, continued.
    "The little girl was inside and they don't know where the boy is. He's still
    missing," Pickering said.
    The children's aunt was driving when the accident occurred and survived after
    a dramatic rescue.
    Lisa Norwood, 31, was able to roll down a window and get out of the car, then
    floated about 100 yards down the rain-swollen Elk River. She was finally
    saved after three hours in the water late Sunday night, said Chief Dennis
    Russell of the Giles County Fire Rescue squad.
    Ground crews and a helicopter searched for the children most of Monday and
    resumed the efforts at dawn Tuesday.
    Emergency officials said Norwood was unable to help the youngsters because of
    the swift current. The river, swollen after three days of heavy rain, also
    was too swift on Monday to allow divers to search for the car.
    "It's sad but that's about all we can do right now," Russell told The Daily
    Herald of Columbia.
    Officials at the scene said a sign had been posted before the accident
    warning motorists about high water.
    A boat sent into the river to retrieve Norwood at a railroad bridge pylon
    capsized, leaving her and at least four rescuers in the water. All were
    pulled out by rope from the nearby bridge. She was treated for hypothermia
    and the rescuers suffered minor cuts and abrasions.
    The first fatality from the storm was reported Monday by the Tennessee
    Highway Patrol. Jason C. Nixon, 32, of Gordonsville was killed Saturday
    morning when his pickup hydroplaned on U.S. Highway 70 in Carthage and
    collided with another vehicle.
    Across Tennessee, several rivers remained above flood stage Tuesday. Some
    parts of the state, particularly around Knoxville, received up to 7 inches of
    rain Saturday and Sunday, and the eastern part of the state suffered the most
    property damage, TEMA officials said.
    According to TEMA's preliminary numbers, 46 homes were destroyed and 145 were
    damaged in Knox and Rhea counties. Claiborne County also suffered some damage
    to structures, Pickering said.
    A mudslide destroyed an apartment building in the Karns community early
    Sunday, forcing the evacuation of several dozen tenants and leaving one man
    with serious injuries, authorities said.
    Anthony Justice was buried in the mud at the Forest Ridge Luxury Apartments
    for nearly nine hours and remained in critical condition Tuesday at
    University of Tennessee Medical Center.
    Knox County engineering officials said Monday that dirt piled near the
    apartment complex was a factor in the mudslide.
    Bruce Wuethrich, head of Knox County's Engineering and Public Works
    Department, said a large amount of soil was piled above the existing
    apartments on a site where a second phase of the complex is under
    construction. Soil also had been used to fill in a ravine, he said.
    "Had we known about it, something could have been done," he told The
    Knoxville News-Sentinel. "At these construction sites, people move things
    around, and we never know."
    Leo Lacamera, a Knox County drainage engineer, said no building codes were
    violated but the accident could have been prevented.
    "It's a good idea, if you're going to stockpile a large amount of soil, to
    have it in an area where if it does slide, it won't hit anything," Lacamera
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  5. #30
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    Jul 2001

    Default Father, son rescued from Roanoke River


    Sunday, February 23, 2003

    Father, son rescued from Roanoke River
    Floods wreak havoc across Roanoke, New River valleys

    One of the men had already been rescued from the river once Saturday, when his truck was washed off a bridge by the torrent of water.


    IRONTO, VA - Two men were rescued from the flooded, frigid North Fork of the Roanoke River on Saturday after a tense wait of more than two hours ended in a terrifying climax and nick-of-time rescue. One of the men had already been rescued from the river once Saturday, when his truck was washed off a bridge by the torrent of water. After being rescued by a private watercraft, he returned with his father in an attempt to save items he had left in the vehicle. This time, the river swept both men away, and they clung to trees, hollering for help, as they awaited rescue. Several attempts to save Stewart and Brian Quesenberry failed. Hopes had been raised and dashed as ropes had fallen short, a ladder from a firetruck hadn't reached far enough and a rescue boat returned to shore with engine trouble. Then one of the men let go of the tree he'd been clinging to. As the man was swept downstream, emergency personnel from at least five localities watched helplessly. Some ran down the road trying to shine flashlights on the head bobbing above the muddy, churning water. Suddenly, on a day when so many things had gone wrong, something went miraculously right. Members of Salem Fire-EMS' Swift Water Rescue Team arrived. Their boat shot from the shore on a course to intercept the man. They caught up to him quickly, but he went under. Fireman Tim Graham, a member of the three-man boat crew, said he was afraid the man had gotten past them. Then "he bopped up right beside the boat." At some point, Fireman Mike Elston jumped into the water to help get the man into the boat. Once all four men were onboard, the boat headed for shore. The rescued man was plucked from the boat, put into an ambulance and taken to Carilion New River Valley Medical Center. But the rescue wasn't over yet. Graham's boat went back into the river after the second man. But it caught on barbed wire and the motor stalled. The boat was swept downstream and out of sight. There was nothing the rescue workers on the riverbank could do for the boat, so they returned their attention to rescuing the other man, still stranded in the river. While one team tried to wade into the river, others tried to prepare another boat. It wouldn't start. They were in the midst of switching batteries when Graham's boat came back into sight - running again, but struggling against the flood-powered current. Graham said they relied on a skill they had learned in training - keep the boat headed directly into the current. It worked. They fought their way upstream to the second man, grabbed him and made their way back to shore. This man, too, was loaded into an ambulance and whisked away. The two Blacksburg men were in serious condition after so much time in the frigid water, according to a Montgomery County Sheriff's Office news release. The North Fork of the Roanoke River, like many other rivers, creeks and ditches across the New River Valley, had been causing problems since early that morning. Already swollen by melting snow and ice, these waterways were made wild by a steady downpour. Near Riner, where a high school basketball tournament was being held, water was flowing over the main thoroughfare, Virginia 8. Indian Valley Road in Floyd County was under the waters of Meadow Creek in one spot and was being undercut by Indian Creek in another spot. In Giles County, mudslides closed U.S. 460. Blacksburg's Plantation Road disappeared into a lake of muddy water. Christiansburg's Hans Meadow subdivision had a small lake and rushing cataract. In Lafayette, where the North and South forks of the Roanoke River come together, a trailer park had to be shored up with sandbags. Upstream, the North Fork was sprawling across the narrow valley between Paris Mountain and the Pedlar Hills. "I would say it's 3 to 4 feet deep in North Fork Road, and it's flowing full current," said Hollis Charlton, who was staying with his fiancee in the small community of Fagg. Water was almost up to the mailboxes across the street, he said. "Fagg Park is no more," he said of a small riverside park. Both the park's sign and picnic table had disappeared, he said. "This is really, really bad."
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  6. #31
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    Jul 2001

    Default Man rescued from flooded car


    Man rescued from flooded car; more rain likely


    February 21, 2003

    Aaron Achord sustained some good-natured ribbing from co-workers but no injuries Friday morning after he and his car had to be rescued from a flooded county road.

    "They're having some fun with this," said Achord, the new engineering and operations manager for Magnolia Electric.

    Achord was on his way to work around 7:30 a.m. when he tried to go through a flooded area on Fern Lane. Achord indicated the water, from a Bogue Chitto River tributary, did not appear too deep and he started to ease across the area.

    "The next thing I knew the car was floating toward the woods," Achord said.

    Clifford Galey, Lincoln County Civil Defense director, said there was nothing Achord could do at that point.

    "He eased off in there, and the water got quicker and deeper than he expected," Galey said.

    When the car got stuck, Achord got out and used a cellular telephone to call for help.

    "I'm standing on the hood of the car, 'Get me a wrecker,'" Achord said in recalling the incident.

    Galey said that was the smart thing to do.

    "He was very patient in waiting for us to get here to assist him," Galey said.

    Galey stressed the importance of a proper response when a person's car get flooded. He said they should either stay in the vehicle or get on the roof and not get into the water to try and get out.

    "If the water is swift enough to move a car, imagine what it could do if you got in it," Galey said.

    Firefighters used a boat to get to Achord and a wrecker service to pull his car from the water. Achord was out of the water by around 8:15 a.m.

    Volunteer firefighters from Zetus, Hog Chain, New Sight, and Loyd Star, as well as sheriff's department and civil defense officials assisted in the rescue.

    Fern Lane was one of several county roads that were reported flooded after last night's heavy rains.

    Galey said flooded roads included East Lincoln and West Lincoln, Field Lark Lane and several others. Road flooding was also reported in the Bogue Chitto area.

    Galey said several inches fell within a few hours and that caused flooding.

    "There's no where for the water to go," Galey said.

    Four inches of rain in the last 24 hours was recorded at the city's waste water treatment plant this morning. Officials said that total was higher than the daily rainfall amount last year for either Tropical Storm Isidore or Hurricane Lili, both of which averaged about 2.5 inches of rain a day when they came through the area.

    In the city, there was a report of a house flooded on Lipsey Street.

    Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson and a sheriff's department spokesman said their offices had received no reports of damage.

    "We've had a little high water, but everything has been OK," Henderson said.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  7. #32
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    Jul 2001

    Default School bus stranded by deep water


    School bus stranded by deep water


    HENDERSON, TX — People in East Texas woke to wet skies and soggy newspapers Friday, but for several Henderson schoolchildren, their morning bus ride turned into a wet adventure. With the area's average rainfall at 1.8 inches, water levels were up around creeks and on roadways. The rain was still falling when Ruth Ramirez began her bus route on the outer edges of the Henderson Independent School District. After picking up her first seven students, Ramirez rounded the corner on Rusk County Road 3181 and found her bus moving through deeper and deeper water. But she realized it was too late. With water, water everywhere — and not to mention fog — she called at 6:17 a.m. for help. "She did the appropriate thing by just stopping," said Dale Dorsey, director of transportation at Henderson ISD. "It would have been worse if she backed out." Rescue workers slogged through frigid, knee-deep waters and found the bus's occupants cold but dry, safe and surprisingly cheerful, according to Dorsey. "I was so proud of them. The kids were very, very cool," Dorsey said. "They just sat on the bus and waited until someone came to get them off." The Henderson Rescue Unit brought a flat-bottomed boat out to assist in the rescue. Dorsey said the firefighters and other rescue workers walked the boat and the children 200 feet to dry land and had everyone off the bus by 8:15. "They never got their feet wet," he said. The bus was towed out soon after, and he couldn't find any damage to it later. Marion Kuykendall, National Weather Service Program Manager, said an upper-level disturbance and other fronts moving through the area are to blame for the soggy conditions. One front has stayed in the area for the past couple of days, he said, but conditions will clear up this afternoon. Conditions should stay partly cloudy through Sunday, but Kuykendall said the rain will be back Monday and stay until Thursday. The Department of Public Safety and the Longview Police Department reported no major weather-related traffic incidents Friday.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  8. #33
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    Jul 2001

    Default Man Still Missing


    Wheeling Man Still Missing

    Wheeling. WV -- A Wheeling man remains missing and is presumed dead after an accident forced a car from Interstate 70 into Wheeling Creek Saturday night. A state police official today said no charges have been filed.
    According to a release from the West Virginia State Police, at about 9:35 p.m. Saturday, a tractor-trailer operated by Russell Bowers, 56, of Athens, Ohio, collided with a 1992 Cadillac driven by Jennifer McFarland, 22, of Wheeling.The collision caused the Cadillac to leave the roadway on the bridge over Wheeling Creek. The Cadillac plunged 45 feet to the east bank of Wheeling Creek and slid into the creek, becoming submerged.McFarland was able to escape the vehicle and was rescued by Wheeling firefighters. A passenger of the car, Eric Norman, 30, also of Wheeling, has not been located. An initial search was performed Saturday night. On Sunday, a second search was conducted state troopers and Wheeling firefighters. Another search is planned when water recede.Senior Trooper James Kozik of the Moundsville post said this morning no charges have been filed. Kozik said Bowers contacted law enforcement after the accident to report the incident."I'm not saying there won't be, but there are no charges and the investigation continues," Kozik said. "He called us. He stopped at the truck stop. It was shortly after. He wasn't trying evade us." Wheeling Fire Chief Steve Johnston said today that Norman is presumed dead after the vehicle was partially pulled from the creek and no occupants were found. McFarland sustained minor injuries in the crash and was taken to Wheeling Hospital."We do know the car was heading east on I-70 and was struck from behind," Johnston said. "It fell down to the creek bed and rolled into the creek. It came to rest on its roof face down in the water."I'm going to have to say" that Norman is believed dead, Johnston said.Johnston said McFarland was found on top of the vehicle when rescue crews arrived at the scene. He said the rescue effort was made difficult because of ice moving along the creek. He said, once no one was located in the vehicle, rescue workers did not enter the water. "The creek was moving quickly and large sheets of ice were moving along. The car was unsteady and the crew was really at risk. She was pretty easy to remove - they just had to get her off the car. "It was deemed futile for them to get into the water," Johnston added. "We pulled the car partially out and found no one inside. They were already at risk and there was no sense in taking additional risks."State police are carrying out the remainder of the investigation. In addition to the Wheeling Fire Department, the U.S. National Guard also responded to the scene.The vehicle was removed by Ace Garage and Fleet Service.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  9. #34
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    Default Rescuers battle currents & wind to rescue man and teen


    Tue, Feb. 25, 2003

    Rescuers battle currents, wind

    Teams from across region respond to pull man, teen from water


    MCADENVILLE - Rescue worker Darren Ledford, 39, and two others formed a human triangle to break the current as they waded into swift, waist-high water toward two people trapped on a rock in the middle of the South Fork River Monday.
    They moved quickly toward a 23-year-old man and 17-year-old girl. Water gushed past the rock they clung to after going over the Pharr Yarns spillway in two discount-store rafts about midafternoon.
    "We were going to swim them to a nearby island and put them in the boat," said Ledford, a swift-water rescue instructor and paramedic with Gaston Emergency Medical Service. "But the current was too strong with the rocks and the girl being injured."
    The girl, Laura Denton of Lowell, had a head injury and scrapes and bruises, authorities said.
    This was the type of rescue Ledford trains others for, but it wasn't going to happen this time. They needed help.
    Ledford, who was coordinating the rescue, determined it was too dangerous to try to move the two from the rock to a nearby island and called for a helicopter from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police. In the meantime, he tried to calm Denton.
    She told them she and friend Mike Atkins, also of Lowell, were trying to go upstream in separate rafts with her black terrier, but the dog got scared and jumped into the water. She reached for him and got too close to the dam. It sucked her over, knocking her out. Atkins, who was in a different raft, followed and caught her limp body, pulling her onto the rock.
    Ledford and his team -- Sammy Willis, 42, and Ted Hendrix, 36, of Gaston Urban Search and Rescue -- were the first to their aid. They gave the victims helmets and life jackets.
    "We just hooked up to the support and told them what to expect," Willis said. "They were cold, they were scared and they weren't real sure about the helicopter ride, especially the girl."
    The three men held the victims tightly to prevent the wind from the rotor from blowing them off the rock. .
    Above them, Eric Withers, 27, of the Charlotte Fire Department's Rescue 10 dangled from a helicopter.
    Earlier Monday, Withers had watched the rescue efforts on TV. Then his station got the call to come with the helicopter. On the way to the South Fork, the five rescuers decided the Gaston County resident should be the one to drop down and pluck the victims from the rock.
    As he flew over the swollen river, suspended from two 90-foot cables that can hold 9,000, Withers clicked his heels to signal to the pilot that they'd cleared power lines and trees as they headed toward the victims. A spotter in the helicopter signaled the pilot that Withers was clear. First, he took the girl because she was more badly injured. He hooked a cinch collar under her arms. As the rope pulls up, the cinch tightened and Withers wrapped his arms and legs around her body. Withers said sudden movements from a victim in a sling could result in a fall.
    "They were frightened, so I was talking to them to get their mind off how high they were," he said. "I never asked them what happened because I didn't want them to think about the bad stuff."
    Withers and his fire team had never done any training with a helicopter or swift water. The closest they'd done is scaling Charlotte skyscrapers to pluck people off the roof, he said.
    This rescue involved water churning at a level that appeared equivalent to a Class III rapid -- difficult, large, irregular waves up to four feet .Withers credits the pilot, Phil Hollifield, a retired Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer, with most of the work. It was difficult landing him on the rock and Withers was dipped in the swollen river several times. It felt like taking a bath in ice water.
    After he finished the rescues, Withers called his dad, chief of the Dallas Rescue Squad.
    "He was happy I was back on the ground," Withers said.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  10. #35
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    Jul 2001

    Default Two river rescues in two days


    Two river rescues in two days


    By: Tim Boyum & Web Staff

    River rescues are nerve-racking but it can also be expensive in more ways than one. Beyond the Gaston County rescue, Chatham County has dealt with two rescues of its own in two days. For years emergency workers have tried to put a stop to these dangerous situations.“There are a lot of hazards you can see on this river,” kayaker Sarah Minis said. “There are lots of logs and trees just floating down when it floods.”That was the case Sunday when raging waters took control of a canoe. Eight hours later, rescue crews safely brought two men to shore. The very next night another rescue on the Haw River was happening at the same time as the rescue in Gaston County. A couple was canoeing when it capsized. It took nearly three hours for rescue workers to get them.A helicopter saved the couples’ lives in Gaston County, bringing about an expensive price tag.On the Haw River, the big cost is manpower with up to 50 volunteers per rescue.“First of all, it’s cold out here this time of year,” Emergency Operations Director Tony Tucker said. “The other night we were out there in 30 degree weather. I didn’t actually go in the water. It was a boat rescue although sometimes they have to go in the water for these rescues.”Nearly 10 years ago rescues were so frequent, county officials considered a hefty fine for those who needed rescues but commissioners voted against that idea.Tucker said, “It can happen to anyone. It’s always a risk when you go in the river but I think if somebody comes to rescue you, it’s not unreasonable to ask they be reimbursed.”Tucker believes that still won’t happen. Instead he asks people to stay off the Haw River when it rises to flood levels.Experts suggest you always check river levels before heading out in a canoe or kayak. They also said it’s best to go with someone who knows that particular river very well.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  11. #36
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    Default Man loses control of car, drowns


    Friday, February 28

    Laborer loses control of car, drowns

    Larry Hobbs
    Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

    Friday, February 28, 2003

    WELLINGTON, FL -- A laborer with a learner's driving permit drowned Thursday morning after losing control of his car, veering across a high landscape berm and into a deep retention pond at the upscale Olympia community on Forest Hill Boulevard, sheriff's office officials said.
    Wilner Alezi, 29, had no pulse when sheriff's office and fire-rescue divers pulled him from the pond nearly an hour after the 9:45 a.m. crash. He was pronounced dead at 11:47 a.m. at Wellington Regional Medical Center, officials said.
    The Boynton Beach man was driving on Fatio Boulevard inside Olympia, heading from one work site to another, when the crash occurred, deputies said.
    A witness who called 911 told deputies that Alezi's 1986 Toyota Corolla came to a curve in the road and continued straight over a curb.
    Tire tracks at the scene indicate the car traveled about 150 feet at an angle up the grass embankment before coming down into the pond, which fronts Forest Hill Boulevard on the west side of the elaborate entrance to Olympia.
    Afterward, at least five construction workers at Olympia dived into the pond in a desperate rescue attempt, unaware at the time that the victim was one of their own.
    "We just jumped where the bubbles were, but we couldn't find anything," said Justin Maurice, his jeans still soaked. "It was too deep."
    "One guy found a tailpipe, but by then he was out of air," added Victor Rogalny, who also dived in.
    As construction workers looked on, divers pulled Alezi's body to the surface about 10:40 a.m. "That's a worker," said one man. "Look at his work boots."
    A man identified as a relative of Alezi's had to be escorted from the scene, overcome with grief. Alezi lived at 131 N.E. Sixth Ave.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  12. #37
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    Default Ocean City to install water rescue lifesaving boxes


    Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2003

    Ocean City to install water rescue lifesaving boxes

    Paramedic wins approval for devices at lagoon where boy died in ice tragedy

    By Anita Ferguson
    Daily Times Staff Writer

    OCEAN CITY -- Spurred by the death of an 8-year-old boy who fell through thin ice, a resort paramedic has won approval to install lifesaving devices at the park where the tragedy occurred. Paramedic Larry Sackadorf was among some 50 emergency workers who responded to Northside Park at 125th Street on the evening of Jan. 19. Sam Wilkinson, 8, of Berlin, and Nicholas McLoota, 10, of Ocean City, fell through ice on the pond. McLoota was trying to help Wilkinson, who had run onto the ice to retrieve a lacrosse ball, police said. McLoota survived after he was quickly rescued by paramedics. Using an inflatable raft, rescuers poked the icy water with long poles as divers searched the lagoon, while firefighters maneuvered an engine ladder over the narrow pond as they searched with a thermal scanner for Wilkinson. It took emergency workers more than an hour to find the boy. Shortly after the event, Sackadorf said he was immediately approached about reviving the dive team, which he once commanded. But he said he preferred to take a proactive rather than reactive approach. "I wanted something that would hopefully make a difference in the future," he said. "The day after Sammy's funeral I was at my part-time job in Delmar and got dispatched for a subject falling through the ice. Listening to dead space on the radio, I thought there has got to be something we could do." Sackadorf recalled seeing steel boxes containing lifesaving rings outside the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. He took the idea to town officials, then to Haines Construction, which donated labor and materials to build a prototype. Dubbed a "Sam Box," the container is a steel cabinet that houses a 25-inch lifesaving ring and a float rope, Sackadorf said. The box is equipped with a siren and strobe light, which will trigger when the box is opened, similar to a fire alarm. A radio system inside the box will automatically alert emergency workers to respond to the site. Each box costs about $3,000 to construct, Sackadorf said. Welder Brett Roderick of Haines Construction said it took about 23 hours to complete the prototype, working from photographs of similar lifesaving boxes, but it was well worth the effort. "I'm used to doing commercial work. This is something that's for a worthwhile cause," Roderick said. Sackadorf said he received preliminary approval on Valentine's Day -- Wilkinson's birthday -- from town officials, including Mayor Jim Mathias, to install two boxes on the north and south side of the lagoon at Northside Park. "One of Ocean City's most valuable strengths is its common sense," Mathias said. "This appears to be a common-sense approach to making our community safer. Our goal is to make sure that Sam is remembered and his loss is not in vain, and this will enable that to happen." Sackadorf will present the prototype to the Town Council at 1 p.m. today at Town Hall on Third Street.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  13. #38
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    Default Witnesses Come To Rescue As Car Plunges In Canal


    Witnesses Come To Rescue As Car Plunges In Canal

    March 6, 2003

    MIRAMAR, Fla. -- Police say an elderly woman who was behind the wheel when her car plunged into a Miramar canal is doing fine this morning thanks to witnesses who jumped in to save her. The car (pictured) ran off the road near Miramar Parkway and University Drive Wednesday. Miramar fire rescue says the woman simply lost control of the car. When it hit the water, David Rosol and others came to the rescue. "You know she was just really disoriented ... She's a pretty old lady. She was just, she looked real confused you know, and she could not have helped herself. I'm just glad somebody, we were there, to help her out of there. You know she's in good shape," said Rosol. As a precaution the woman was taken to Memorial West Hospital, but she is just fine.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  14. #39
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    Default Rescue dive team approved


    Rescue dive team approved
    Washington County to train 8 sheriff's deputies


    March 11, 2003

    West Bend, WI - Washington County's first underwater rescue team could be fully prepared to respond to emergencies by early summer now that the County Board has approved the program, Sheriff Jack Theusch said.
    On a 27-3 vote Tuesday, the board approved spending $45,000 this year from a contingency fund to equip and train eight sheriff's deputies for the proposed countywide dive team.
    The vote was greeted with applause from more than 50 county residents. Among them were Sharon and Donald Mann of Trenton, whose 21-year-old son, Michael, drowned Jan. 21 in Big Cedar Lake. He was a passenger on a snowmobile that plunged into open water.
    A Waukesha County dive rescue team called for assistance didn't arrive for three hours.
    "A dive team was sorely lacking for some time," Theusch said Tuesday after the vote. "It's a responsibility of a sheriff's department, and it's something we needed."
    Washington County has more lakes than other county in southeastern Wisconsin but has been the only county in the region without a dive team.
    "The sheriff has the responsibility to rescue, and to recover bodies, in county waters," County Supervisor John German of Addison said in explaining his support for the measure.
    Theusch estimates that it will cost $33,727 to purchase suits, masks, oxygen tanks, lights and other equipment for the eight-member squad. Training would cost an additional $5,240 this year. Any remaining money might be spent on an inflatable raft for winter rescues on ice-covered lakes.
    Municipal fire departments will be encouraged to commit two or more divers to the team, and they would be trained alongside deputies, Theusch said. The municipal divers would be the first to respond to water emergencies within or close to their community, and the Sheriff's Department would send its divers as a backup, or support, unit.
    Six municipal fire departments already have indicated they might participate in the countywide program, Theusch said. The six are: the Cities of Hartford and West Bend; Villages of Germantown, Jackson and Kewaskum; and the Town of Richfield. The Boltonville Volunteer Fire Department in the Town of Farmington also has said that it would commit divers to the program.
    Family to help raise money

    On Tuesday, Sharon Mann announced that her family and friends would help raise money to pay for equipping and training municipal divers. An account, the Michael J. Mann Memorial Fund, has been established at U.S. Bank in West Bend to receive donations, she said.
    "We'll not stop until all communities that want to train divers have the equipment they need to save lives," Sharon Mann said.
    Supervisor Donald Berchem of West Bend attempted to delay Tuesday's vote on the dive team by returning the proposal to the Public Safety Committee for revisions.
    "I have a real problem on how the County Board can vote on this with no plan for continuing costs and no plan on the participation of local fire departments," Berchem said. "Is this the beginning of some proliferation of costs? Will this lead to the purchase of additional equipment, such as a hovercraft?"
    Berchem's motion failed on a voice vote.
    Supervisors Berchem, James Spindler of Germantown and John Stern of the Town of West Bend cast the three votes against the plan.
    Several other supervisors suggested that the county or the state could do more to protect people on frozen lakes and streams.
    Supervisor Donald Roskopf of Germantown suggested that the county should require life vests in all vehicles driven on ice.
    Supervisor David Radermacher, however, said that such regulations should be the responsibility of the state Department of Natural Resources.
    "I believe the state DNR has failed us," Radermacher said. "When water freezes, there are no safety requirements. The DNR needs to get involved in this, and the DNR needs to set regulations to prevent this from happening in the future."
    The sheriff's request in fall for $8,800 to purchase a limited amount of diving equipment was turned down by the Public Safety Committee at that time, but Theusch renewed his push for creating a county dive team after Mann's drowning in January.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  15. #40
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    Default Woman drives car into canal - Bystanders attempt rescue


    Bystanders can’t save woman who crashed into canal

    Staff Writer
    Mar 13, 01:21 AM

    SOUTH DAYTONA , FL -- A 58-year-old woman died Wednesday despite rescuers'
    struggles to free her from a partly submerged pickup that crashed and rolled
    on its side into the canal dividing Nova Road. Workers from a drainage
    project near the intersection of Big Tree Road tried using chains and a
    front-end loader to pull the smashed truck from the canal, while others
    wrestled desperately in the murky water to roll the vehicle and free the
    pinned driver, witnesses said. "I got a hold of her hand and it felt like she
    held on," said construction worker Kevin Stodola of Sanford. Hope turned to
    heartbreak when Gail Henderson of Ormond Beach was pronounced dead in the
    emergency room at Halifax Medical Center. Stodola was one of 10 people
    including bystanders and EVAC ambulance paramedics who jumped into the
    belly-high water to free Henderson before police and firefighters arrived.
    They were able to roll the truck onto its wheels but had trouble getting the
    driver out. Henderson was in cardiac arrest when she was pulled from the
    water-filled truck by police, firefighters and bystanders after about five
    minutes, officials said. "It was definitely a team effort," said Mark
    O'Keefe, an EVAC ambulance spokesman. John Dasso of Daytona Beach Shores held
    the trapped woman's head above water, trying to save her life. "I tried to
    get her out but she was lodged," Dasso said. "There was no way you could pull
    her out." Henderson was pinned after her full-size pickup broke through the
    guardrail and rolled on its driver's side at 3:17 p.m., just south of the
    intersection. Police said she was the only occupant in what appeared to be a
    single-vehicle crash. South Daytona police said they were investigating what
    caused the vehicle, traveling south on Nova Road, to dart through the
    intersection, jump a curb, smash through a guard rail and plummet 15 feet
    into the canal. There were no skid marks left in the road, investigators
    said. Dasso and other rescuers suffered minor cuts and scratches but refused
    medical attention. The men said they jumped into the water hoping they could
    rescue the woman before police and firefighters got there. "I didn't think
    there was time," Dasso said.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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