Have you noticed that often when tragedy strikes, a silver lining can be found? Sometimes it's in the people we encounter or the circumstances we face. Recently we recognized a number of individuals who helped those in tragic situations. They were honored at the 2015 Heroes Banquet, held at Julian Smith Casino, where guests enjoyed a barbecue meal, fun at the casino tables and great prizes at the end.
2015 Heroes Award: Columbia County Fire & Rescue - Each year the Columbia County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) hosts our largest boot drive in Georgia, raising over $350,000 the past eight years. They are also the host site for our aluminum can collection trailers at five of their stations. More importantly, CCFR works hard each day to the keep Columbia County residents safe. That has never been more evident than on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. During the early hours of the morning they received a call that there was a fire at a local retirement community where 80 elderly residents lived. Over 75 fire department personnel responded to the scene, working swiftly to evacuate residents while battling multiple collapses, heavy smoke, and intense fire conditions. In unison with crews working inside, they conducted rescues from balconies and windows using Aerial Truck units outside. Unfortunately, one 91-year-old resident perished in the fire. However, hours later,
Rushton Metzler, Chris Wahmen, James Frazier (who is also a Burn Foundation employee) and
Chris Ganther would have quite a surprise. As they searched the third floor they heard what they thought was a cat, but minutes later they heard a distinct cry for "help." As they dug through the rubble, they uncovered 82-year-old Rhetta Cadle with not a scratch on her. Hovering in her bathroom under the debris, Ms.Cadle simply said, "I'm glad to see y'all." Later, she and her family referred to them as her "angels" and described the event as nothing short of a miracle. In September, the Georgia State Firefighters Association awarded Columbia County Fire Rescue six (6) Life Saving Valor Awards. This award is presented to fire personnel who have performed a meritorious act that resulted in a life-saving event. Congratulations Columbia County Fire & Rescue!
2015 Healthcare Heroes
Each year more than 2,500 patients arrive at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center needing care. The Burn Foundation works closely in partnership with Doctors Hospital staff to see that not only are the patients' needs met - but family members are taken care of as well. In 2014, 1,239 patients received assistance from the Burn Foundation and 1,085 family members stayed at the Chavis House. The Burn Center's social workers, case managers, and service coordinators work closely with the Burn Foundation staff to see that no one, who needs services, is overlooked or turned away. They offer a listening ear, collect vital information, give directions, and talk with staff or community resources when a patient needs help. For their compassionate, professional, and dedicated care to the patients and families we serve, these six were honored as the 2015 Healthcare Heroes:
Annette Allmond, Tom Dorn, Brigitte Flett, Sherry Videtto, Michael Wheeler and Faye Whitmire.