July 29, 2019–8:39 a.m.
Cherokee County’s first responders had a busy evening Sunday.
Shortly after 7:30 Cherokee County Central Dispatch received a request for help from an individual who appeared to be in distress – however, dispatchers were only provided with Highway 411 as a possible location.
They immediately tapped resources from the McCord’s, Spring Creek, Centre, and Leesburg Fire Departments along with law enforcement officers, EMA officials, and Rescue Squad members from across the county to search for the victim. U.S. Highway 411 near County Road 45 in the Hardin School community was later identified as the location.
Upon arrival, emergency personnel found one patient, suffering from severe injuries, who had been transported there by ATV from an accident scene two to three miles away on Frog Mountain off County Road 45. Information at that point was sketchy; however, it was determined that there was possibly one to three additional victims involved in the ATV accident and that other riders were attempting to extricate them.
McCord’s Fire Chief Rich Lindsey advised Cherokee County Central Dispatch of the possible mass casualty incident and diverted all additional resources to that area for a search and rescue operation. While en-route to the area, units encountered two ATVs carrying two additional victims, one of which was seriously injured.
Both patients were treated on the scene by firefighters and rescue squad personnel. One was then transported to Floyd/Cherokee Medical Center by Floyd EMS and then air-lifted to a regional trauma center. The other patient was transported to an area trauma center by Redmond EMS.
Chief Lindsey told WEIS Radio News that he was thankful for the quick response of so many individuals from so many agencies across the county and everyone’s spirit of cooperation. He also said, “Incidents involving multiple patients, in multiple locations, and a lack of vital information can be very difficult to manage. However, I saw the best in Cherokee County’s first responders Sunday. Everyone worked together to quickly locate, treat, and transport our patients.” Lindsey went on to say that for the first time in history, all Cherokee County’s Emergency Service Providers are on the same radio system. This allows for seamless communication between agencies, which yields better coordination between agencies and ultimately promotes a higher level of success for us and the public.