The Ohatchee storms through the eyes of a firefighter's wife - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

The Ohatchee storms through the eyes of a firefighter's wife

The following email was sent to FOX6  News at stormstories@wbrc.com:

I am the wife of an Ohatchee Volunteer Fire Fighter. On Wednesday, April 27, 2011, the day of the Tornado, things started around 6:30 am for our fire fighters, We had straight line winds that caused a lot of damage in our area. The calls started coming in for downed power lines and trees down on homes and blocking the roadway, my husband came home from his night shift job and went straight to cutting up trees and clearing roadways. Not only for O. V. F. D, but for the Big Oak Volunteer Fire Department, and Mount Olive Volunteer Fire Department as well. My 18 year old son volunteered to help them move trees that day, he then went to helping friends clear trees from their houses. There was a lot of damage done from that morning storm, that was when we lost power at our house. My in-laws house had a tree down from that storm as well. Most of the day went to the tedious job of cutting and clearing trees.

Around 6:30 pm was when the pm storm hit our area, we heard it was coming our way so we headed to the Fire Department. My husband went with his fellow volunteer firefighters, the ones that were not effected, into the storm to help save as many people as possible. There was only four or five that could respond due to damage from the storm. They had to cut their way through downed trees to get to the effected area so that they could be of assistance. They had debris, rain and hail falling from the sky as they were searching for survivors. They crawled through the rubble that once were homes looking for anybody, searching the Coosa river and the back waters in hopes of finding survivors, responding to calls as fast as they could, putting their own safety aside to rescue those that needed it. My 12 year old son and I were at the station answering phone calls trying to answer questions to the best of our ability about if the roads were cleared and if we knew if their loved ones were OK.

My heart goes out to those who have been effected by this storm.  Ohatchee is the biggest little town but it has been seriously scarred by this storm.  And if it weren't for the quick thinking and actions of our fire fighters and their selflessness that a lot more people may have been hurt. Not only did they have calls on Wednesday and Thursday but for several days after for brush fires and structure fires, even putting out small fires due to the necessary no burn that has been set for our area. People don't realize that these firefighters are Volunteers, they do this out of the goodness of their hearts and without thought of their own safety. Many of these men and women took time off normal jobs to help, losing pay which is hard in this economy. They deserve our appreciation for everything that they have done since that day. I am proud to be the wife of a Volunteer fire fighter, I know that if something like this ever happens again that they will put their own safety aside to help others.

I would also like to thank Oxford and Attalla fire departments for lending there firefighters to help with calls in our area, also to the Anniston EMS for lending the ambulance for any medical emergencies that may arise. Also thank s needs to go to Southside Fire Department for their help on that fateful day.

Sincerely,

Mary B. Taylor

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