published Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Bradley County, Tenn., emergency workers honored for flood rescue

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    Bradley County Fire Chief Dewey Woody stands behind the Bradley County Fire Department in downtown Cleveland

CLEVELAND, Tenn.-- Bradley County emergency medical and rescue members were honored Monday by the county commission for saving a woman's life during September flooding.

Members of the Bradley County Emergency Medical Service and the county's fire and rescue department used swift-water rescue techniques Sept. 22 to pluck Brittany Hicks from a tree to which she was clinging.

"It was a miracle that she was found and rescued," fire department Chief Dewey Woody said. "To quote one of the guys, 'It was a type of rescue you might effect once in a career.'"

Those types of rescues usually end with recovery of a body, Woody said.

"I am thankful you were there again that night," Hicks told her rescuers. "It was one of the scariest experiences I have ever had. I have always known that you work hard and train hard. But that night it really brought home what you truly, truly do. Putting your lives in jeopardy for me is something I will always remember."

Danny Lawson, director of the emergency medical service, said the rescue shows the close bond between the rescuers and the emergency medical service.

"There is a kinship we feel with them, particularly when we are able to affect peoples' lives," Lawson said.

During a brief presentation Monday before the county commission, members of both departments involved in the rescue were present. Commission Chairman Louie Alford presented the departments with a certificate of appreciation.

Contact staff writer Randall Higgins at or 423-314-1029.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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