CORBIN — The Corbin Fire Department has been hard at work since they got a call around 6:15 a.m last Thursday to get a team ready to help in the Letcher County community of Isom.
Trevor Allen, a firefighter with the Corbin Fire Department since 2009, was one of the firefighters who responded to the call. They arrived in Isom, which is about two hours from Corbin, around 10 a.m. that morning.
“We kind of backtracked the rescue efforts that had already been going on,” said Allen.
He also said they had to go in the back way to Isom due to the flooding. At one point they decided not to cross the water or to put a boat down because they wouldn’t have been able to transport the boat after they got to the other side of the river because the vehicle they used to haul the boat couldn’t cross. They backtracked again where they finally met up with the Harlan City Fire Department and the Bell County Rescue Squad in Isom.
“Those are the two teams we were supposed to meet up with. They had already cleared Isom and went onto Whitesburg, which was another hard-hit area,” Allen explained.
The Corbin Fire Department did not come across anyone who needed to be rescued that day, but they did go door to door checking to make sure residents were okay.
“We checked on residents and made sure they didn’t need medical treatment or any medicines. We didn’t have any water with us but the community had scrounged up so they shared,” Allen added.
With some of the water being very deep some people lived in the mountains and stayed safely out of the water. “It was very deep,” Allen added about the flooding.
He also added that several of the community members in those areas were out using their own equipment to clear trees and mudslides so The Corbin Fire Department could get to the areas they needed. If it wasn’t for those community members, team wouldn’t have been able to get far at all due to road and flood conditions.
After helping in Isom, the Corbin Fire Department worked for two days in Jackson, Kentucky with rescue squads, going door to door and checking on residents. There, they again made sure everyone was okay, that they did not need medical attention, and provided water. The department was also given different assignments to check on people who hadn’t been heard from.
“We would go there to check the residents, just trying to locate them. Some were accounted for, some we haven’t been able to locate,” said Allen.
The Corbin Fire Department continued their efforts to help flood victims as of Wednesday by going to Perry County to do some of the same things they had been doing previously in the past week.