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Decatur, Berne firefighters in latest rescues

March 3, 2011

STOP — PLEASE! ... Looking north from the Linn Grove park, a stop sign — unnecessary until floodwaters recede — stares back at the flooded pavement and little else during this week's flooding. (Photo by J Swygart)

    Two more water rescues were performed on Tuesday by Decatur and Berne firefighters, with the Decatur rescue occurring several miles inside Ohio.
    Decatur Fire Chief Les Marckel said the local firefighters were called out just before 6 p.m. to a location along the Harrison-Willshire Rd., near Willshire, Ohio, after an elderly woman drove into deep water and her car was swept an estimated 100 yards off the road into a farm field.
    Marckel said the woman stayed in the car as the water reached up to the windows.
    The rescue, which involved a team of six Decatur firefighters in a motorboat, went well, said Marckel, with the run being done by around 8 p.m.
    However, the woman, whose name is unavailable, suffered hypothermia from immersion in the water and, after being taken to Van Wert County Hospital in Van Wert, Ohio, was flown by helicopter to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne.
    Marckel said his department was dispatched because the nearest local Ohio fire departments do not have boats for aquatic emergencies.
    The rescue by Berne firefighters was easier because the car was still on the road and the water was only about one foot deep, according to Assistant Berne Fire Chief Butch Grimm.
    Grimm and Indiana Conservation Officer Billy Doss reported today that the Berne firefighters went to County Rd. 500 West, a quarter-mile north of State Rd. 218, for a car driven by a 16-year-old girl who had an 18-year-old passenger.
    The car stalled in the water, some 300 yards from dry pavement, so a Berne department boat was used to bring the two people back.
    Grimm said the work at the scene took only about 20 minutes.

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