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Thanks to those who gave of themselves

March 10, 2009

Letter to the Editor:

Firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, emergency management personnel, who responded to the tornado scene at Countryside Mobile Home Park on Sunday, deserve a big pat on the back.  And let’s not forget the police and fire dispatchers who took calls, made calls and dispatched numerous departments and help coordinate emergency activities during and long after the storm had passed.

These individuals train endlessly month in and month out for emergencies and disasters such as Columbia City experienced Sunday.  Yes, training can be a bit over whelming at times whether you are a volunteer or a paid member of these departments.   As I was at the scene of the tornado damage on Sunday, I could see first hand the benefits of this continuing training and the dedication these individuals have for their community. They did what they have been trained to do and worked harmoniously together to accomplish a task that we never look forward to having to do.  I saw it work and it worked well!   Hearty congratulations to all involved. 

The first responders executed their duties and responsibilities admirably.  They helped the residents, directing them where to go, giving aid, transporting, helped the residents locate family members or pets and helped put out a small fire that developed.

The Mayor and City departments also need to be recognized for their prompt response for water shut off, barricades and restoring electrical power as soon as possible.

DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, thank you for opening up your business for a place for the displaced residents to go for shelter and make arrangements for housing.

Thanks to the Red Cross for their assistance to the residents that needed help and Jorell Tucker of the Solid Waste District who made arrangements for dumpsters to help get rid of the debris off the streets so access could be made to damaged homes.

Thanks to the other fire departments in the county who offered assistance or stood by for the departments who were on the scene; to the neighbors, friends and those who provided shelter, food, support, a kind word or phone call, your help was very important.

First responders always learn from disasters such as this and we will learn from this as well, allowing our first responders to provide our community with even better service in the future.

Thanks to the Community Corrections crews without your help the clean up efforts would still be going on.

Thanks to Woody’s for the porta-potty that was delivered during the clean up efforts on Monday. 

Helping one another when these unfortunate things happen is what makes Whitley County a good place to live.

Michael Schrader

Whitley County Commissioner

Assistant Chief Columbia Township Fire Department

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