Pictured from left are Ethan Guenther, Lt. Randy Hornsby, paramedic Cory Lemon, just after they received Life Saving medals from Versailles Fire Chief Ben Sieverding. The men were honored last week at the Versailles Fire Station. Not pictured Bryan Buchanan.

Lifesaving Medal awarded for rescue efforts
Firemen, paramedic honored

Wanda English Burnett

Three firemen from the Versailles Volunteer Fire Department and a Ripley County paramedic were honored last week with Life Saving medals.

Versailles Chief Ben Sieverding presented the medals to Lt. Randy Hornsby, Ethan Guenther and Bryan Buchanan from the fire department and Cory Lemon, paramedic for their participation in a rescue in April.

The men responded to a call for help on April 23 about 4:23 in the morning. When they arrived they found a pickup truck precariously perched over a steep embankment. It was just a short distance from being carried away by the rushing water below.

Lt. Hornsby, who has been with the fire department for five years, said he didn’t think twice about being lowered on ropes to assess the situation. There he found two men trapped in the vehicle.

Guenther, who is a rookie with the department, was lowered on ropes to assist Lt. Hornsby to take the men out of the dangling vehicle. According to Chief Sieverding, paramedic Cory Lemon, was then lowered on ropes as well, to assist with possible patient care as the men were being freed from the truck.

Chief Sieverding noted that Buchanan was lowered with a stokes basket to assist. They would use the stokes basket to lift the men, one at a time, out of the truck.

Lt. Hornsby, Guenther, and Lemon were present to receive their medals last week noting they were “just doing their jobs”. They didn’t think they were heroes or had done anything any other firefighter or paramedic wouldn’t have done. All said they enjoy their respective positions and said they are ready should another call of that type come in.

The Versailles Fire Department used over 1200 feet of rope and an assortment of specialized equipment during the April rescue. The Technical Rope Rescue equipment was purchased through a grant from the Rising Sun Regional Foundation. “We are so grateful to the foundation,” noted Chief Sieverding. He said they have enough rope to fully outfit ten people, should such a rescue effort arise.

The fire chief also praised those involved in the rescue saying “they were willing to put themselves in harms way to save others.” Of course, he noted, they are very grateful to the Rising Sun Regional Foundation, because they couldn’t perform the rescue without the proper equipment.

Sieverding also noted there were other firefighters and emergency response personnel on the scene who also did an excellent job with the rescue.

Volunteer firemen wear a variety of hats in a rural area, sometimes having to get to places such as the above. Many are also First Responders who assist with emergency medical care. They are not paid and volunteer many hours each year to help others. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter for any of the departments, just attend their meetings or ask a fireman on the squad about the possibility.