2012 Red Cross 'Fire Service' Champion - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2012 Red Cross 'Fire Service' Champion: Lubbock Fire Department and Post Fire Department

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For more than a decade, Chief Les Looney has volunteered his time with the Post Volunteer Fire Department. He says it's a position he loves.

"It's just wanting to be able to help, is what it mainly is.  And, wanting to do our part for the community," Looney said.

On the morning of July 10th, his department responded to a wreck outside of Post that was unlike any he had ever seen.

"The 14 years I have been on the department, that truck was wrecked up, I guess worse than anything I had seen before," Looney said.

A water haul truck had turned over on it roof and the driver inside was trapped.  Despite the extensive training his volunteers receive and their high tech tools, they struggled to free the driver. That's when they called upon the help of the Lubbock Fire Department.

As Lubbock Firefighters arrived on the scene, they could see the wreck was unique, which meant the techniques they had to use would be unique as well. Lubbock Fire Captain Craig Gannon says that's when firefighters from both departments began brainstorming.

"Let instincts take over and do what you can do. Some ingenuity and a bunch of teamwork, different ideas from different guys, you get different ideas to get the guy out of there," Gannon said.

As they tossed ideas around, one came from Lubbock Firefighter Jonathan Tunnell. Tunnell, who had once been a volunteer for another Texas department, came up with an idea to use a wrecker to help lift the cab of the truck and free the driver.

"In those situations, you just fall back on training and everybody's got to put their head together and see what the best approach to the situation is," Tunnell said.

The approach paid off. They were able to get the driver out of the truck, and amazingly, his injuries weren't too bad. 

Almost two months after that day, crews from both departments are thankful because they know they could have had a much different outcome if it weren't for their teamwork and mutual respect for one another.

"That shows the goodness of all the firefighters in general. That's what they're there for, to help." Looney said.

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