Clay County Rescue Squad has very busy first half of the year

 

By BUTCH BURNETTE

Rescue Squad Captain

Have you noticed all the Clay County Rescue Squad vehicles on the road this year? If so, it’s because your volunteer rescue squad has responded to double the emergency calls, training and repair meetings in the first half of 2009 than in 2008.

There has been a total of 109 calls for 2009 compared to 55 in 2008, and usually every time we make a fast run and put our jaws of life and other equipment under extreme pressure loads, something generally breaks. So to save money, we will spend hours of personal time (and tools and parts from our homes) doing repair work ourselves, while at the same time carrying out our daily lives. We have to do the repairs as we can. 

Since losing our main building to the fire, we still have boats, trailers, 4-wheelers and one vehicle sitting outside at squad members homes, but ready to respond at any minute.

The 32 all-volunteer members of the Clay Rescue Squad would like to thank all the citizens of Clay County and the Clay County Government for their continued support. The county provides the rescue squad (and fire departments) with $2,500 annually, but it sometimes takes up to $15,000 a year to operate the Clay County Rescue Squad. 

All this other money is made up by the long hours and hard work of the rescue squad members, taking away from their personal family life, as well as training. So far this year, several new members have been voted into the squad. They and old members have been active on Dale Hollow with boat handling, dive and body recovery classes, as well as four emergency calls on the lake. 

The members have had Vanessa K and Evoc driving classes and training on ATV’s, with on-hand driving thru back roads and hills. In the first six months alone, there has been over 14 training classes, including vehicle extrication, CPR, and rope rescue.

Besides having to deal with two deaths from vehicle accidents, the squad has responded to over 40 accidents, five missing person calls, set up helicopter landing zones, cut trees and cleared roads (after five severe storms hit the county), responded out of county five times to assist other agencies at tornados and drownings, plus 15 public service calls–parades, school activities, traffic control, etc.

The fire that destroyed our building and the city hall has caused us many problems. We lost over $65,000 worth of equipment in the fire, and our main headquarters now is the substation we had housed our boats in. The Rodgers Group provides the Clay County Rescue Squad with the building, for which we are greatly thankful. As always, we continue to train and practice our skills to be better prepared to assist you in any type emergency. Again, thank you for your support.