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Recent accident highlights need for volunteers

Photo by David Kimball

DAVID KIMBALL/Fire Chief South Fork-Center VFD
Last Friday night, about 9:45 pm, South Fork Center and Mt Ida Fire Department Volunteers responded to a two-vehicle crash on Highway 270 West on the east side of Mauldin Mountain. The crash involved the two vehicles colliding head on. Given the seriousness of the dispatch call, aid from the Oden/Pencil Bluff Fire Department was requested as well as Medi-Vac Life Net Air-2.
The driver of the eastbound vehicle was entrapped in the vehicle, requiring extraction equipment to be used by the fire departments. A landing zone was established on the crest of Mauldin Mountain for Medi-Vac Life Net Air-2. The extracted driver of the eastbound auto was then back boarded and taken to the landing zone by ambulance and airlifted to the closet trauma hospital. The passenger of that vehicle was back boarded and moved to the Med-3 Ambulance from Mt Ida, and taken to the closest trauma hospital. The driver of the westbound auto, declined ambulance aid, and was transported by family for further medical treatment.
The crash was serious enough, that it required the highway in both directions to be closed. The oil spill from the crash required both the Fire Departments and the State Highway Department to follow HAZMAT protocols and sand down the roadway.
South Fork Center and Mt Ida Fire Departments appreciate all the people that assisted. Thank you to the Volunteers from Oden and Pencil Bluff Volunteer Fire Departments/First Responders. This was a long duration call, requiring volunteers to work into the early hours of the next day. Without the support of our neighboring Volunteer Fire Departments, it would have been difficult to have the necessary manpower to provide all the tasks required when responding to a crash of this magnitude. Not only was it necessary to get the people involved in this crash quickly to medical care, but we also had to provide traffic control so that another accident didn’t take place. A landing zone for the Medi-Vac helicopter had to be established so they could land and take off safely. Assisting in traffic control and getting autos turned around in both directions always requires additional resources.
The First Responders/Volunteer Firemen of the South Fork Center and Mt Ida were assisted by the Oden/Pencil Bluff Fire Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas State Highway Department. Medical services were provided by Southwest Ambulance Service and LifeNet Air Ambulance.
The Volunteer Fire Departments are always in need of volunteers. Training for fire fighting and First Responders is provided to those that join. Please consider contributing to your local community in this capacity.

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