Posts Tagged Acme-Delco-Riegelwood Fire Rescue

Of interest … Distracted Driver Awareness

wrecked truck along roadway

WECT photo

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A destroyed truck and sign on the side of a Columbus County (NC) highway have caught the attention of thousands of drivers, and the fire chief behind the display hopes the message will shock people into yielding to emergency vehicles on the road. The mutilated truck is not a random vehicle. It’s a fire department truck that was destroyed in a fiery crash and now serves as a warning symbol. The sign in all-caps reads, “THE RESULTS OF NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO EMERGENCY LIGHTS & VEHICLES ON A TRAFFIC SCENE.”

“The message is: Put down your phones, pay attention to what’s going on, give us your undivided attention, so that way we can remain safe,” said Steve Camlin, chief of Acme-Delco-Riegelwood Fire-Rescue.

The explosive accident on Dec. 10, 2018 involved a tractor-trailer crashing into the firefighter’s vehicle, and then plowing into a family’s car as they received assistance.

The wrecked truck and sign will remain by the highway until the salvage company removes it in the next one to two weeks. 

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Illinois Task Force 1 deployed after Hurricane Florence

Excerpts from the

A team of 15 firefighters with the Illinois Urban Search and Rescue Team deployed to North Carolina after Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina on Sept. 14. A federal disaster was declared for the state that day. The storm lingered for several days. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power, and steady rains left many towns deep underwater. Emergency personnel from across the country were sent to help.

Illinois Task Force 1 is composed of firefighters from departments participating in a statewide disaster response program. Ten suburban firefighters were part of the North Carolina deployment. They came from Wauconda, Wheeling, Arlington Heights, Downers Grove, Morton Grove, Alsip, Matteson, Naperville, and Rolling Meadows. Firefighters from Chicago and Bettendorf, Iowa, were part of the task force, too.

The group departed Sept. 14 from the MABAS headquarters in Wheeling in a convoy hauling boats, generators, and other equipment. It arrived the next afternoon at an emergency operations center in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was sent to a small town called Whiteville. The team reached Whiteville on Sept. 16 but was redeployed to Riegelwood, an unincorporated community closer to the coastline and near the Cape Fear River, which overflowed its banks because of the hurricane.

The local Acme-Delco-Riegelwood Fire Rescue station was running on a generator when the team arrived — and it was packed with people including several of the displaced firefighters’ families. A National Guard unit and other emergency response personnel set up in the station, too. 

The Illinois group got to work locating stranded residents and getting them to the fire station so they could be taken out of the area by the National Guard. The firefighters also distributed water, food and supplies, checked on people with health issues, and helped put tarps on the roofs of damaged houses.

They often traveled in a military surplus truck that carried an inflatable, motorized boat. When they reached a spot where the water was too deep for the truck, they launched the boat. Some houses were on dry land but surrounded by flooded streets and property. Others became submerged, some to the roofline.

Members of the local fire department accompanied them since they knew the area and the people — as well as the potential dangers from local wildlife. The work was long and strenuous. Fifteen-hour days were common, as were calls at night.

One day they rescued an older couple trapped in a submerged car that had been washed off a road. Firefighters broke a window and pulled the woman out of the car.

The Illinois task force returned home Sept. 26. 

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