When a massive rainstorm dumped 12 inches of rain in Hoover in early October last year and the streets began to flood, the Hoover Fire Department received more than 100 calls for help. help, said fire chief Clay Bentley.
Two people died when their vehicle stalled in floodwaters at Riverchase and was carried over a guardrail and submerged in the stormy waters, but Hoover firefighters carried out several successful water rescues that night.
One of those rescues took place on the same stretch of road where the deaths occurred less than an hour later.
Hoover firefighters Chase Lovett and Nathan Sweeney, members of the fire department’s Technical Rescue Team, volunteered to run into fast-moving floodwaters well above their knees to rescue a woman trapped in a vehicle against a guardrail behind a dam.
Their heroic efforts that night earned them the 2022 Hoover Firefighters of the Year, and they were recognized today at the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon, along with other workers public safety of the year.
David Edgar was named Hoover Paramedic of the Year, Lee Love was named Police Officer of the Year, Senior Cpl. Tyrone McCall was named Detention Officer of the Year and Terrance Darling was named 911 Operator of the Year.
About 150 people attended the chamber luncheon in the banquet hall of Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, where they were honored.
FIREFIGHTERS OF THE YEAR
Both Lovett and Sweeney volunteered without hesitation to rescue the woman who was trapped in floodwaters on Riverchase Parkway West, Bentley said. They and their fire crew used an elaborate rope rescue system built by 10 crew members, Bentley said.
Wearing protective gear, they waded through the fast-moving waters, reached the woman, gave her a personal flotation device and helped her return safely to dry land without injury, Bentley said.
The streetlights were out due to a power outage, so it was dark, and there were lots of heavy limbs, debris and garden furniture washed up by the men as they carried out the rescue, he said. he says.
Lovett has been a career firefighter/paramedic for six years and has worked for the Hoover Fire Department for three years. Sweeney was a career firefighter/paramedic for 11 years and with the Hoover Fire Department for nine years. Both are assigned to Station #4 on Municipal Drive and are part of the Technical Rescue Team.
PARAMEDIC OF THE YEAR
Edgar was nominated for Paramedic of the Year for his handling of an extremely difficult situation on July 5 after responding to a well-involved fire at The Lory of Hoover apartment complex on Rocky Ridge Road.
When Hoover fire crews arrived to assist the Rocky Ridge Fire District, several people were injured and missing, Bentley said. Edgar was ordered to establish a water supply and begin attacking the fire, but as he did so a man ran towards him with an unresponsive child, Bentley said.
Edgar immediately began life-saving care for the child and transferred him to a nearby medical transport unit, the chief said. More paramedics arrived to help, and just before the crew left for hospital, the man brought in another of his sons who was suffering from severe smoke inhalation and breathing difficulties. Both boys’ parents also had the same symptoms, so Edgar decided to take all four family members to the same rescue unit at the same time, Bentley said.
Normally only one patient is taken at a time, but there was only one transport unit available at the moment, he said. Edgar realized the seriousness of the situation and quickly took all four family members to Children’s Hospital and UAB Hospital, and all four made a full recovery, Bentley said.
Edgar has been with the Hoover Fire Department for nine years, works at Station #4 and is also part of the Technical Rescue Team.
POLICEMAN OF THE YEAR
Love was named Police Officer of the Year for his work as a school resource officer at Bumpus Middle School since August 2017.
Love has gone above and beyond to provide additional layers of security at his school and provide additional training and resources to help protect students and faculty, Chief Nick Derzis said.
He was instrumental in implementing a color-coded ceiling tile system at his school to facilitate faster patrol response to active shooter calls, and his use of different colors for different hallways is now being used as a model for possible improvements at other Hoover schools, Derzis said.
Love also assessed the need for large, reflective numbers to help first responders recognize the best entry points in an emergency, Derzis said. He took time during spring break, numbering the front doors and classroom windows all around the school and on different floors, the leader said.
Love also teaches each class how to use desks and chairs to build barricades inside their classroom doors to slow down active shooters, and Bumpus students regularly practice creating barricades during their drills. lockdown, Derzis said.
Love has been with the Hoover Police Department for 22 years.
Other nominees for 2022 Police Officer of the Year were Sgt. Sam Davis and Blake Walker.
DETENTION OFFICER OF THE YEAR
McCall was named Detention Officer of the Year for his work at Hoover Prison, where he is the most tenured senior corporal.
He was instrumental in setting up a quarantine block to house newly booked inmates to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease, Derzis said. The disease can wreak havoc in a secure detention facility, and McCall’s work has allowed Hoover Prison to operate continuously while preventing the spread of infection among inmates, Derzis said.
While around half of prison staff have had COVID-19, no inmates have contracted COVID-19, he said. McCall has been instrumental in ensuring the day-to-day needs of the facility are met, the needs of inmates are treated with respect, and the safety of his staff always comes first, Derzis said.
McCall has been an employee of the City of Hoover for 18 years and on Friday, October 28, he will be sworn in as a Hoover Police Officer.
911 OPERATOR OF THE YEAR
Darling was named 911 Operator of the Year for his handling of an emergency call this month, Hoover 911 Manager Linda Moore said.
Darling received a call about a man who was unresponsive and not breathing and after sending medics on the way stayed on the phone line and spoke to the caller via CPR until the help could arrive, Moore said.
Doctors continued CPR en route to the hospital, and when they arrived at the emergency room, medical staff were able to get a pulse on the man, she said. Although the end result of the man’s condition is unknown, Darling’s early intervention and clear communication of CPR instructions gave the man a chance to recover, Moore said.
Darling, who has worked at the Hoover 911 Center since 2011, is a certified training agent, mentor, role model and valued team member, Moore said. “He can handle very stressful calls and never get phased.”