Monday, March 9, 2015

Boating in the holler

A West Virginia volunteer firefighter had to improvise the other day when a call came in - a woman in labor and separated from help by a swollen stream.
Wyoming County Emergency Services Director Dean Meadows said 911 operators received the call around 12:51 p.m. Wednesday. Shorter, who is a certified paramedic, drove to the scene until Coon Branch Road disappeared under several feet of water. On the Matheny side of the creek, Crouse went into quick action.
“I think (a water rescue) was our only chance,” Crouse said. “The water was four foot deep in the road, maybe five, and there wasn’t no vehicles coming across it. I think that was our only chance to help her other than getting up in the mountains and walk, and she would have had to walk all that way and that wouldn’t have been good. So I just used my brain and said ‘Hey, I’ve got a jon boat. Let’s try it.’”
Crouse pulled his 12-foot, battery-powered boat out of storage and backed it into the water near Matheny Church of God, using the street as a boat ramp. He motored the boat across the raging creek and picked up Shorter and Ben Bailey, a third volunteer firefighter.
You never know when a boat will come in handy - even in the mountains.

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