Hometown Hero

By: Kara Kirtley Email
By: Kara Kirtley Email

It was May 2nd, 2010. A torrential downpour had descended upon South Central Kentucky when the Allen County Fire Department received a call.

This was no ordinary rescue call. 72 year old Calvin Scott was stuck in what was quickly becoming a life-threatening situation. His pickup truck was being submerged by quickly rising waters in what would be one of the worst floods in Kentucky history.

"They could see a truck in the creek and they thought someone was in it," says Rickey Cooksey, one of the first responders.

With the water rising into a dangerous current, the firefighters realized treading into it was not an option and they quickly called for a special truck. This "ladder truck" had a 110 foot ladder on top usually reserved for fires. It wasn't meant to be used in a horizontal position, but in this case there was no alternative.

Jeff Young, a firefighter with the South Allen County Fire Department, explained "Just to be honest with you, I don't think this would've worked without the hand of God, honest."

Young would have to go out on that ladder truck, break Mr. Scott's windshield, and pull him from the truck and up the ladder. Mr. Scott was already chin deep in freezing cold water.

"Well I thought I was a goner," Calvin Scott says.

Although he would be putting his life in danger, Jeff Young says he stayed focused on the rescue. "My first thought was: We've gotta get to him. Something could go wrong."

The rescuers stayed calm and after a few harrowing moments, the rescue was successful!

Calvin Scott says, "Mr. Young, he shot that ladder right into the windshield of the truck and he just pulled me right on out."

And not a moment too soon! "Once we got him from the vehicle, it was a matter of minutes until that cab was completely submerged," says Rickey Cooksey. Mr. Scott says he considers himself very lucky.

The firemen claim they are just doing what they love to do. Rickey Cooksey explains, "I really like serving the people and I'm just proud to be able to help."

Jeff Young elaborates, "We're here because we want to be here. We're volunteers. There's alot of heroes here that work everyday. Everyday."

The firemen say the rescue wouldn't have been possible without the help of Allen County's other fire stations, police department, and the emergency management service.

We honor the volunteers of the South Allen County Fire Department as this week's Hometown Heroes.

If there's someone you see as a hero, click on the "Community" and then the "Hometown Hero" link to send us your nomination.


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