MAGNOLIA SPRINGS, Ala. (WKRG) — When Hurricane Sally whipped the Magnolia River into a monster, Magnolia Springs Fire Chief Kaylan Driskell had his volunteers huddled inside the station. “Around 1:30 that morning we had to make the decision to stop running calls as many departments did.”
“We were all ready to go,” said firefighter EMT Autumn Dunn. “We wanted to get out there and do everything and when we had to stop responding it broke a lot of our hearts.”
With the winds howling, the rain coming down in buckets, calls for help started pouring in. “A lot of; my house is destroyed, my roof is caving in, my roof came off, there’s water coming in, I need help, I need to get out,” recalls Dunn.
That’s when the department did what they always do, look to Chief Driskell for direction. “He gave us the final go ahead and we split up and did our thing,” said firefighter Zac Black. “We were able to successfully rescue quite a few people throughout the morning.”
“We haven’t had a hurricane since Ivan really so it was a quick reminder once we got out there what it was like,” says Driskell.
Hurricane Sally underscored what a lot in the department and Magnolia Springs already knew about Chief Driskell. “Such a phenomenal influence on all our lives,” says Dunn. “He’s never not there,” says Black. “He’s always here for us.”
First responders are a selfless bunch always putting themselves at risk and never wanting any credit. “It’s been an amazing challenge,” says Driskell. “Definitely couldn’t do it without these guys, team effort everything we’ve done.” So we saym “Thank You” Chief Driskell for being the Smile Behind the Shield.
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