Volunteer Firefighter International

W.Va. Volunteer Firefighters Rescue 12 From Water

It took ropes, rescue boats and assistance from other departments to get all the victims to safety

By Anthony Gaynor, Inter-Mountain

A rapid rise in water levels led to 12 people being stranded in the Middle Fork River at Audra State Park on Friday. Belington Volunteer Fire Department Chief Phil Hart said it was the largest single water rescue event he has ever been a part of during his 40-year career.

“There was a total of 12 rescued, six in the (Audra State Park) campground and six below the bridge,” Hart said. “It was the largest water rescue I have ever been involved in.”

Hart said agencies from five different counties responded and pulled everyone to safety with no injuries. The initial call came in around 3:15 p.m. on Friday and police scanner traffic indicated that all individuals had been rescued by7:30 p.m. and everyone was accounted for.

Hart said the water rescue teams utilized boats and ropes to get to those who were stranded on the rocks. Hart said the youngest rescues were a 3-year-old and 4-year old.

He said the people stranded were spread over a two-mile stretch of the river. Hart said the six stuck near the campground were easier to rescue because they were able to drive the trucks closer to the river. He said the six stranded passed the bridge were more difficult to reach.

Read the full story here.

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