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Regional award given to local departments for saving man from flood waters

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Posted at 7:44 AM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 07:44:39-04

Thousands of men and women in uniform put their lives on the line every day when they go to work here in Hampton Roads. We begin a series dedicated to the first responders who went above and beyond the call of duty this year.

The Hampton Roads Chamber presents the 2021 Valor Awards. News 3 is honored to collaborate with them again and to highlight incredible feats of bravery.

The events of September 9, 2020, led to a display of overwhelming regional cooperation and teamwork to save citizens trapped by raging floodwaters.

Crews from Suffolk, Newport News, Isle of Wight, and Smithfield worked together to execute the rescues.

Suffolk Senior Firefighter Corey Powell explained about a vehicle that was stuck, “The vehicle was about the middle of the way down. He had it pinned against the guardrail. Water was high enough so it was to about the bottom of his tail light.”

The driver was an elderly man and he couldn’t get out as the water was rising so the commander at the scene realized regional resources from Suffolk and Newport News were needed.

Suffolk Master Firefighter George Best said, “The only way we could get to him was letting the water push us against the guardrail and we followed the guardrail to his truck. He didn’t know what he was doing. He was actually bailing water out of his truck.”

Within a matter of minutes water was over the bed of the truck

Master Firefighter Best explained what they did next, “Got him out of the pickup truck. Newport News brought the boat to us. The water is moving fast, so the zodiac didn’t have enough power to overcome the current. So Newport News guys and Smithfield guys are able to make a haul system to haul us back.”

“So no matter the patch on any uniform we work seamlessly together, which benefits the citizens and the visitors of the Hampton Roads region," Assistant Chief Anthony Jackson with the Newport News Fire Department said.