SIDNEY — Sidney Firefighters conducted two separate water rescues at the same time Saturday evening due fast rising water in the city of Sidney.
Assistant Fire Chief Dallas Davis said the Sidney Department of Fire and Emergency Service’s A-crew was responding to an EMS call Saturday, March 28, when they received another call for help to rescue a female from her vehicle on West Russell Road at 7:38 p.m. When firefighters arrived to the scene, they were advised of another 911 call for help to rescue an elderly couple and their granddaughter from their flooding home at 1511 N. Kuther Road.
Davis said out of nowhere, a civilian, who he confirmed was Bob Spearman, showed up in a front loader on his way to help Dorothy Love, asked if he could help them rescue the female trapped in her car at the intersection of Russell Road and North Kuther Road.
“By chance, if you believe in God, and I do, a civilian came by with a front-end loader and was headed to Dorothy Love and asked if we needed help. It’s not all the time the fire department is asked if they need help,” Davis said. “’I said, actually yes, I could really use you right now.’”
Sidney firefighter Bryan Ramge got onto the front-loader and helped the victim, Shelly Swiger, 40, of Apple Blossom Road, out of her car and to safety. Meanwhile, other members of the A-crew launched and paddled one of their boats to a window of the North Kuther Road home to make entry. Firefighters made three trips to rescue the family from their home. The first trip rescued Connie Beers, 64, and her 5-year-old granddaughter, and the second trip rescued 63-year-old Steven Beers. The crew obtained medication from the home on the third trip.
“In total we made four saves in one call. Technically it was two separate calls, but we were already on the scene. It could not have been better for the people in the house. And they didn’t know that we were there,” Davis explained. “The car was almost right next to the house.”
Multiple calls were going on at the same time, Davis said, and that they responded to six calls within a less than 2 hours Saturday evening. All Sidney firefighters responded to a structure fire Friday night and another structure fire early Sunday morning.
“The crew and the additional help that came in were all very, very busy (Saturday night). It was a very busy night and excellent job by all and at least everyone returned safely,” Davis said.
According to the Sidney water treatment plant, 2.17 inches of water fell Saturday in Sidney. The city’s flood action plan was enacted due to the heavy rain fall in a short period of time.
Assistant City Manager/Public Works Director Gary Clough said the Great Miami River reached 11.62 feet before the flood action plan was deactivated on Monday morning. He said they erected warning signs about high water at 8-10 locations around town. City workers also moved some supplies or small equipment from a shed at Custenborder Field due to the rising water.
A copy of the flood action plan along with the latest river level is available on the ity of Sidney’s website http://www.sidneyoh.com.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.