BG first responders recall 2021 December tornados as 1-year anniversary approaches

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 6:55 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -As we near the first anniversary of the devastating Kentucky tornadoes, community members remember the sacrifices first responders made to protect the community.

Two of those responders are named Stephen...

Stephen Parrot and Stephen Rosebrook both work as first responders here in Bowling Green.

One is an EMS field supervisor and the other is an Engineer EMT with the Bowling Green Fire Department.

Although the two wear different hats, the aftermath of the tornado destruction sent both out on the scene, causing them both to label the December 2021 tornados as the scariest event in their careers yet.

“It’s probably one of the scariest moments I’ve had in my 25 years here,” said Parrot.

“I’ve never experienced anything like that before,” said Rosebrook.

Stephen Rosebrook, with the fire department, says that he didn’t fully comprehend what actually happened until about thirty minutes after it touched down in Bowling Green.

“At least it didn’t cross my mind that it was a tornado until we were driving. We were getting up to the Corvette Plant, and I mean, it looked like a semi-truck had gone through everything, and it was just so completely destroyed,” said Rosebrook.

For Med Center Health EMS worker, Stephen Parrot recalls his Dec. 11 night beginning when a received a call from a 911 dispatcher, who was also his son.

“Especially because when we’re at work, he doesn’t refer to me as ‘dad.’ So when he said ‘dad, we need help.’ It kind of meant that it was serious,” said Parrot.

After receiving the phone call from his son, he made sure his wife and daughter were safe. He then headed out to work, where he explains the power outages and street signs blown away causing navigating to feel quite disorienting in an area he knows well.

“We know the streets but when you when you have no power and no lights and no road signs, just the disorientation of where you’re actually at, and getting to your patients was really hard. It was a struggle because we didn’t know where we were,” said Parrot.

The two say that, a year later, it’s hard not to think about the things they witnessed that night.

They also agree that after everything the community has been through, it’s been inspiring to see people come together to help rebuild not only buildings and homes but lives as well.