Posted: Tuesday, February 12th 2013 at 9:38pm
Banks County responders hailed as heroes
By Rob Moore Editor
HOMER – A highlighted agenda item during Tuesday night’s Banks County Commission meeting didn’t require a vote.
The first recognition was for the county’s first responders and emergency personnel.
“I want to break from the routine just a little bit and make some personal observations,” Chairman Jimmy Hooper told those gathered.
Hooper related a recent Sunday school lesson that asked class members to conduct self-evaluations, saying that he personally assumes a lot – takes things for granted.
“Tonight I want to talk about one thing I really take for granted,” Hooper said. “When I pick up the telephone and I dial 9-1-1, I assume or I take it for granted that somebody is going to come take care of me or my family, or whatever. There’s going to be somebody on the other end of the line to take care of that.”
“To highlight that and bring it home to reality, on Jan. 16 of this year at lunchtime, a call came in from the parking lot of Grove Level Church of a person that was down and not breathing,” he said. “That’s pretty serious business, guys. You’ve got a 44-year-old man down that’s not breathing.”
Hooper then discussed the response to that emergency.
“I’m thankful that we had people like Capt. [Greg] Wells, John Highfield, Charles Turk, and Joe Gary, who are firefighters who have been trained in CPR and lifesaving skills that were able to get to this person in Banks County – not only did they get to him in a short time, they were able to help this person and basically save his life.”
Paramedic Karen Alexander, EMT Ritchie Alford, and EMT James Key of Banks County Fire and EMS arrived and continued CPR on the victim, rushing him to Northridge Medical Center.
He was stabilized at that facility, then transferred to Athens Regional Medical Center, where he remained for some 10 days before being released to return to his home and family.
Hooper praised that call’s responders as “true heroes,” saying their actions “basically brought this person back to life.”
Hooper reiterated there are some things he takes for granted.
“I’m glad there are some people out there that don’t take things for granted and we five men up here think public safety is one of the most important things we have in Banks County,” Hooper said.
The second thing Hooper said he found out in his self-evaluation is that he doesn’t tell people “thank you” enough.
“Charles, thank you,” Hooper said. “First responders, thank you. Firemen, thank you. I know I won’t assume anymore when I pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1, I know I’ll have some trained people on the other end.”
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