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COLUMN: Job well done in ‘rescue’ effort

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By Shannon Brock

Last Tuesday afternoon, a few hours after we finished the pages for last week’s newspaper, but before it was time to go home for the day, one of those calls came across our scanner.
And when I say one of those calls, I mean the one reporters don’t like to hear, and, even less, the one they don’t like to cover.
The report the dispatcher relayed to fire, EMS and the sheriff’s department was that a vehicle was stuck in the river off of Delta Road. A driver was inside that vehicle and, according to reports, ended up outside the vehicle, in the water, being swept down the river.
Undoubtedly, the river was swollen with the same waters that caused the lake to rise so high the fireworks display was put on hold. Spencer and surrounding areas received their fair share of rain in the preceding days.
Our staff could hardly help getting mentally prepared to write and publish a story with a very unhappy ending.
I hopped in my car and headed out Ky. 44, with periodic updates from coworkers who stayed behind to listen to the reports on the scanner.
They relayed to me that a staging area had been set up at the Travis farm, but the scanner had gone suspiciously quiet.
Of course, we feared the worst.
But, fortunately, that was not the case.
The airwaves had gone quiet because, once located in a sideshoot of the river, the man reported to have been swept downstream was not exactly pleased to be met with his “rescuers.”
According to officials on the scene, the man had to be “wrestled” out of the water and initiated a physical altercation with Sgt. Todd Tinsley. The man ripped Tinsley’s uniform during the altercation, and Tinsley felt compelled to use force to take control of the situation.
The airwaves had gone quiet because the focus had shifted from rescue to controlling an unruly subject and removing him from the water without anyone getting hurt — or worse, drowned.
The joint effort between the sheriff’s department, the fire department and EMS brought forth the result of a life saved and only a uniform lost.
We are once again reminded of the places these men and women, the first responders, are willing to go to protect and serve the community and, even in some cases, rescue people who don’t want to be rescued. And for that, we should say thank you.
What started as one of those calls may have ended in a lively fashion, but the important thing is that it ultimately ended with a man alive.

Also, let this reporter express her gratitude to the Travis family. I arrived at the farm with very little knowledge as to what was going on, but the Travises went above and beyond to help me navigate their property and end up on scene.
Since then I also heard the family provided cold beverages to the first responders, and I heard firsthand a family member tell Sheriff Stump they would provide a tractor if necessary to retrieve the man’s vehicle from the water.
Thank you, Travis family, for all of your help.