DUMAS, MOORE COUNTY, TEXAS
COALY PHOTO ALBUM
THE MOORE COUNTY NEWS*PRESS THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2007
Cactus, Texas, and other areas of the Texas Panhandle suffered severe tornado damage on April 21, 2007.
Approximately 200 Cactus area homes were destroyed or suffered irreparable damage
and hundreds of residents require assistance for basic necessities.
Photos of Tornado heading north for Cactus, Moore County, Texas.
DeBruce Grain employees have near-death experience
By Lauri Zachry
The Dumas Fire Department rescued two DeBruce Grain employees who were sandwiched below more than 20 feet of corn Monday in Etter.
It took the fire department about one and a half hours to free the two men from the corn warehouse. The department used a high-angle-buckle harness to rescue the men.
Captain Bobby Napp of the Dumas Fire Department said the first employee involved in the incident almost had the risk of corn blocking his airway. The other man involved, Billy Carter, went inside the warehouse and held his head above the corn to prevent this.
“When we got to the scene, the men were sinking into the corn like quicksand,” Napp said.
Napp compared the scene of the two men engulfed in the corn to sitting in concrete.
The Cactus Fire Department first arrived on the scene. Then, the Dumas Fire Department arrived with ladders and rescue harnesses. Napp, Lieutenant Belk and Firefighter Gaddy entered the bottom of a hole in the warehouse to free the two men.
Napp said their first priority was to make sure the men did not sink into the corn.
The men shoveled the corn with hard hats because shovels applied too much pressure to the hole on the side of the warehouse. Corn poured down more heavily as the men shoveled more deeply.
“It was a slow step process,” Napp said.
Napp said the employees were standing in about three peaks of corn. The first man involved in the incident was up to his chin in corn.
“This process was like shoveling water with a pitchfork. We also dealt with the issues of the corn coming out of the top, too,” Napp said.
The corn filled the warehouse to the ceiling. The firefighters wanted to prevent an avalanche effect from happening. The approximate dimensions of the warehouse are 50 feet tall, 100 feet wide and 300 feet long.
Napp encountered other obstacles during the rescue, too. As he, Belk and Gaddy were pulling the employees out, Napp kept hitting a 4x8 piece of plywood.
After one hour of shoveling corn, the first employee was buried only to his shoulders in corn. The second employee was able to hold the first employee’s airway away from the corn. The second employee was not covered as deeply in grain. After an hour and a half, the first employee stood only waist deep in corn.
The fire department called LifeStar of Amarillo before they completed the rescue. They were concerned with the first employee having a compression injury in his airway. Both employees went to the Moore County Hospital District where they were treated and are now both in better condition.
Napp expressed his thanks to all the outside and inside help involved with this rescue. He said the second DeBruce employee caught in the warehouse saved the first employee’s life. He also said the fire department worked through three or four different rescue plans before one worked.
“A standard rescue procedure wouldn’t have worked for this,” Napp said.
Dumas Fire Chief Paul Jenkins said the rescuers did a “heck of a job.”
Napp said the rescue was a “team effort.”
“The men weren’t concerned about their safety until the very end,” Napp said.
The other Dumas Fire Department employees involved with this incident are: Captain Dutcher, Firefighter Bethel, Firefighter Hass, Captain Vaughn, Firefighter Brooks, Firefighter Coaly and Firefighter Cooksey.
Letter to the Editor
Dear Editor, |
On June 7, 2002 we were traveling from Colorado to Pampa to visit our daughter and family. We had an unfortunate car accident in your city and was stranded for over three hours without means of travel.
We are senior citizens and it was a very hot day. We were assisted by your wonderful firefighters and police department. Our car was immediately towed to Coffey Tire and Brake.
The wonderful staff at Coffey Tire and Brake jumped right in to get us a fast repair. While waiting on our daughter and son-in-law to come get us, your police department officer Wilkins very kindly escorted us to the fire department to wait their arrival. The Dumas Fire Department fed us, kept us in cold drinks, and every few minutes asked if we had a need of any kind.
You citizens of Dumas should be very proud of your firefighters, Justin Coaly, Herbert Olivarez, John Dunlop and Jenkins. They are an asset to your community. They took frozen food from our vehicle to keep it frozen in there freezer, they unloaded our car for us and gave very clear directions to our son-in-law on how to get to Coffey Tire and Brake.
After a long day we headed for Western Sizzlin’ Steak House for refreshments. As we left, we found the battery to our son-in-laws vehicle was dead due to leaving his lights on.
The manager of Western Sizzlin’ gave us a jump start and wished us well.
We have never been anywhere that we received such wonderful consideration and love by strangers. Although you are all now no longer strangers. We will spread the word in our travels of the wonderful people in Dumas. May the Lord bless each and everyone of you.
Darrell & Edna Pedersen