On Thursday, January 30th, Members of the Pageland Rescue Squad held their 2013 Awards Ceremony at the Sandhill Shrine Club. Members arrived and enjoyed a meal and a time of fellowship while a video showing numerous responses and training played.
After the meal, Captain Joey Hendrix called the awards ceremony to order and began reviewing the accomplishments of 2013. The most notable were the many successful rescues at vehicle crashes, 2 of which occurred in down town Pageland.
Hendrix noted that members had spent many hours training for these types of rescues and that seven members had attended the Southeastern Extrication School at Florence-Darlington Tech. Members also completed many hours of medical training during the year provided by Training Officer Robert Petrucci.
Besides responding to and training for emergency’s, Hendrix said that members provided standby coverage at Central High School football games and that Willie Williams had provided coverage at all High School sporting events.
Rescue Squad members also conducted prevention activities. One of these activities was Operation Safe Ride in which Rescue Squad members provide a no questions asked safe ride home to any Central High School student that finds them self in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation on prom night. During prom week Rescue Squad members organized and conducted a mock vehicle crash drama for all Juniors and Seniors at Central High School which depicted the dangers of drunk or distracted driving. Another prevention activity Rescue Squad members did was to team up with Safe Kids to provide a free car seat check to ensure parents know how to properly install and use child safety seats in their cars.
Another highlight of 2013 was the purchase of rescue equipment. Using funds from grants, county funding, as well as a BBQ fundraiser lead by Rusty Platts, the Rescue Squad was able to purchase 13 medical responder bags, six sets of protective clothing, and a Rescue 42 strut and jack system. The Rescue 42 system will enable rescuers to stabilize overturned and side resting vehicles as well as giving them additional options in removing patients from vehicle crashes.
With the review of the years accomplishments complete, it was time to begin handing out awards. The first award was the Hurst Green Cross award which is awarded for successful rescues with the Hurst Jaws of Life. Receiving the Green Cross award was Joey Hendrix, Allen Hopkins, Jeremey Lackey, Katalin Leaird, Jay Rivers, Garth Rivers, Willie Williams, and James Yandle.
The next award was for the successful completion of the Medical First Responder course. Training Officer Robert Petrucci presented Rodney Deese, Lucas Hayes, and David Krest with certificates of completion and noted their enthusiasm and dedication during the course.
The final award of the evening was the Billy Joe Edwards award. Captain Joey Hendrix explained that Billy Joe Edwards was Captain the year the first Jaws of Life was purchased and was also instrumental in the purchase of the Rescue Squad’s crash truck. The Billy Joe Edwards award is given in his memory each year for outstanding service. Hendrix announced that the 2013 recipient of the Billy Joe Edwards award is Robert Petrucci. Hendrix summarized Petrucci’s service throughout 2013 and noted his exceptional organizational skills and dedication to community service.
Hendrix closed out the evening by thanking all Rescue Squad members for their time, service, and dedication and noted that not only do Rescue Squad members volunteer their time, they also have to pay for their own fuel and wear and tear on their personal vehicles to responded to emergencies. Finally Hendrix recognized the sacrifice that the families of Rescue Squad members make, enduring interrupted meals, sleep, and missed time together as well as worrying about their loved ones safety as they respond to emergencies.