Campbellsville Rescue worker Chris Glass talks with reporters.
Marion County, Ky, resident Pete Farmer displays certificate presented by FEMA and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Farmer discovered rescued girl Theresa Hartley.
Richmond, KY -- Representing the efforts of first responders throughout Kentucky, search and rescue personnel from Lebanon and surrounding areas were saluted Wednesday night by Mike Butler, FEMA federal coordinating officer for the Kentucky disaster, and Larry Burnette, deputy directory for the Commonwealth of Kentucky Emergency Management.
Teams from Marion, Nelson, Taylor and Washington counties were honored for their rescue of Theresa Hartley, a 12-year-old girl who was washed down Prather Creek on June 17. Rescuers found Hartley after she spent more than two hours in the raging water. Five others were rescued from Marion County floodwaters the same day. Butler and Burnette presented certificates to the agencies involved at a ceremony Wednesday in Lebanon.
"They just did a wonderful job and FEMA wants to recognize them for that job," said Butler. "They handled the rescue in an absolutely magnificent fashion."
FEMA is in the state helping residents recover from earlier storms, which hit May 4-27 and are part of a federal disaster declaration. The honors were part of a nationwide effort to recognize first responders by the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security. First responders are those involved in life safety emergencies and rescues, such as fire and police departments, and water rescue teams.
"The purpose of our visit is to recognize the courage, skill and dedication of a group of great Americans, our first responders," Butler told the crowd at the Marion County Emergency Management Center. "This highly successful operation did not just happen. This operation was the result of dedicated, well-trained and well-equipped first responders doing their jobs with courage and professionalism.
"The more than 170,000 members of the Department of Homeland Security salute your efforts and pledge their continued support to build an even stronger first responder force."
Receiving certificates were the following agencies: Bardstown/Nelson County Fire Department, Boston Fire Department, Campbellsville/Taylor County Rescue, City of Lebanon, Gravel Switch Fire Department, Green County Rescue Squad, Lebanon Police Department, Loretto Fire Department, Marion County Emergency Management Agency, Marion County Emergency Medical Service, Marion County Fiscal Court, Marion County Rescue, Marion County Road Department, Marion County Sheriff's Department, Nelson County Emergency Management Agency, Nelson County American Red Cross, New Haven/Rolling Fork Fire Department, New Hope Fire Department, Northeast Nelson Fire Department, Raywick Fire Department, University of Kentucky Air Medical, Washington County Rescue.
Photos of the ceremony will be posted on FEMA's web site, www.fema.gov, beginning Friday, June 27.