Monday, August 26, 2013

Alexander Rescue Brings Home The Victories

The North Carolina Association of Rescue and EMS recently held its 57th Annual Rescue Convention on the weekend of July26th through July 28th, 2013. This year’s convention was held in Greenville, N.C. at The Greenville Convention Center. Each year during the convention various competition events are held. Among those include Technical Rescue (Heavy Competition), the Craig Helms Memorial Rescue Challenge and Basic Life Support (First Aid) Competition. Teams from all across the state compete in the fun and fellowship in an effort to receive the “Top Gun” award. Each year Top Gun status is awarded to the first place teams in each of the events. As many times in the past, Alexander Rescue Squad entered and competed in the competition. After several weeks of practice the teams were able to show off their skills during the events. 

In the Technical Rescue Competition (Heavy Rescue), the scenario was a tractor overturned on top of two patients involving a power pole as well as a transformer. The teams had to secure the scene and safely lift the tractor simultaneously off of both victims.  The event was scored based on the team’s accuracy for completing various evolutions for stabilizing the tractor, properly placing jacks and air bags for the raise and simultaneously raising both ends at the same time. Points were also awarded for team and personal safety.

Congratulations for a job well done to Alexander Rescue Squad’s Technical Rescue Team. The 2013 “Top Gun” team members included Tiffany Getz – Co Captain, Zenda Townsend– Co-Captain, Roxann Byers, Emily Eckard, Andrea Adkins, and Neal Icenhour.  Richard Smith served as the team’s training coach.

Other competitions included the Craig Helms Memorial Rescue Challenge, which netted Alexander Rescue another first place. The scenario was a utility worker suffering from a heart attack at the top of the utility pole. The teams had to safely lower the patient to the ground as well as support the patient medically. Rescue Challenge Team members Richard Smith and Tiffany Getz competed in this event and were awarded first place for their efforts.

The Basic Life Support Challenge saw one senior team (Neal Icenhour and Andrea Adkins) and one junior team (Jordan Byers and Mackenzie Townsend) in competition. Both teams placed second in the event. The scenario was a boat which had ran aground, striking a nest of bees and ejected one patient from the boat, leaving another in the boat having an allergic reaction to the bee stings. The patient who was ejected was unconscious on the ground with head trauma. 

The entire event gave Alexander Rescue Squad members the opportunity to practice and perform various skills they could face at anytime while serving the citizens of Alexander County. Alexander Rescue is a non-profit volunteer rescue squad, providing rescue services and back up EMS to all of Alexander County. 

Other Squad members receiving accolades at the convention were Squad Captain Terry Foxx who was reelected and installed as the Vice Commander of the North Carolina Association of Rescue and EMS and Tim Pennell who was presented the 2013 H. Elwood Inscoe Director of the Year Award. 

Alexander Rescue Squad is a proud member of the United Way of Alexander County and if you are interested in becoming a member please join us at one of our regular meetings. The Squad meets the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month at 7:30 PM at our base located at 197 Emergency Street, Taylorsville. If you would like more information please email us at or contact our base at 828-632-9410.

Sergeant Neal Icenhour
Public Relations Officer
Alexander Rescue Squad

Front Row Kneeling, (l-r), Jordan Byers, Mackenzie Townsend

Back Row Standing (l-r), Tiffany Getz – Co Captain, Zenda Townsend – Co Captain,

Neal Icenhour, Andrea Adkins, Roxann Byers, Emily Eckard and Richard Smith – Training Coach               

Friday, August 23, 2013

Highway Patrol Provides A Few Safety Tips As We Begin the School Year

RALEIGH- As the school year begins, more than 700,000 students will be transported on school buses each day across North Carolina.  Nationally, more than 450,000 public school buses travel about 4.3 billion miles a year to transport over 23.5 million children to and from school and school-related activities. Sadly, on the average five to six children are killed and about 5,500 are injured in school bus related accidents each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is when children get on and off the bus. Loading and unloading is where children are in the most danger of not being seen by the bus driver.  Specifically, the area 10-feet in front of the bus where the driver may be too high to see a child; 10-feet on either side of the bus, where a child may be in the driver’s blind spot; and the area behind the bus. Many pedestrian fatalities in school-bus related crashes are children between 5 and 7 years old.

To prevent these needless deaths and injuries, drivers, children and parents are advised to follow a few simple safety tips:

  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
  • Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood.
  • Slow down. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state. Learn the "flashing signal light system" that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:

  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it's okay before stepping onto the bus.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.

  • Use the handrails to avoid falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with draw strings, and book bags with straps don't get caught in the handrails or doors.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.

  • Teach children to follow these common sense practices to make school bus transportation safer.

Keeping our children safe takes teamwork and together we can make a difference!

For more information on North Carolina’s Stop Arm Law, please go to the following link:

For more information on Highway Safety, please contact First Sergeant Jeff Gordon at (919)733-5027 or