We all know that our firefighters deal with a lot, particularly our volunteer firefighters, who don’t get paid for what they do. There are structure fires, brush fires, and auto accidents in addition to a host of other calls.
There was one call that came across the radio scanner about lunch time Monday that caught my attention.
Woodbine Fire and Rescue got a call to respond to a reported vehicle accident involving a car that supposedly occurred out in the middle of nowhere. When I say nowhere, I mean that pretty much literally.
Whitley E-911 dispatchers received the accident report from an onboard vehicle device like an OnStar system, but it wasn’t OnStar.
The wreck supposedly occurred on a forest service road between River Road and Long Bottom Road, which has its name for good reason. I promise. To call this a road would be generous. A fire truck couldn’t make it down the forest service road, and neither could many four-wheel drive trucks.
Firefighters first tried to get to the reported wreck via River Road, but reached a point where the forest service road was unpassable. Then they tried to access the forest service road via the Long Bottom Road side. Four-wheelers were brought out. The sheriff’s department responded.
No one could find the wrecked vehicle.
E-911 dispatchers worked diligently to try and get more information, such as calling the registered owner of the vehicle. They tried pinging the registered phone of the owner.
Finally, after about 90 minutes of exhaustive searching, the E-911 dispatcher, who did everything in her power to help, was finally able to learn that the accident, which the car was involved in, actually occurred in Greer, South Carolina, and emergency personnel there had left the scene of the accident about an hour earlier.
Suffice it to say, while technology can be helpful, sometimes it isn’t quite what it is supposed to be…lol.
In addition to the really bad stuff that they have to deal with, such as helping people that lost everything in a house fire and freeing seriously injured people trapped in auto accidents, our firefighters and all of our first responders, including police officers, EMS workers and our E-911 dispatchers, have to deal with frustrating incidents like this one that happened Monday.
I bring up this incident for a couple of reasons. The first is that it is kind of an interesting story, and it is a good warning not to rely completely on your technology.
The other reason is to point out some of the stuff our first responders have to deal with, especially our volunteer firefighters.
If you see a first responder out, you may want to just say thank you to them.
If you see our volunteer firefighters out at road blocks on a Saturday morning trying to raise money in order to help pay the utility bills at the fire department, buy fuel for fire trucks, and help pay for repairs to fire equipment, then you might want to give them a little extra, particularly this holiday season.
Our volunteer fire departments receive little government funding in order to help you and me all the while working for free. This is something that we might all be well-served keeping in mind a little more.