ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO
Pictured from left are Ethan Guenther, Lt. Randy Hornsby,
paramedic Cory Lemon, just after they received Life Saving
medals from Versailles Fire Chief Ben Sieverding. The men
were honored last week at the Versailles Fire Station. Not
pictured Bryan Buchanan.
Lifesaving Medal awarded for
Firemen, paramedic honored
Wanda English Burnett
Three firemen from the Versailles Volunteer Fire Department and
a Ripley County paramedic were honored last week with Life Saving
Versailles Chief Ben Sieverding presented the medals to Lt. Randy
Hornsby, Ethan Guenther and Bryan Buchanan from the fire department
and Cory Lemon, paramedic for their participation in a rescue
The men responded to a call for help on April 23 about 4:23 in
the morning. When they arrived they found a pickup truck precariously
perched over a steep embankment. It was just a short distance
from being carried away by the rushing water below.
Lt. Hornsby, who has been with the fire department for five years,
said he didnt think twice about being lowered on ropes to
assess the situation. There he found two men trapped in the vehicle.
Guenther, who is a rookie with the department, was lowered on
ropes to assist Lt. Hornsby to take the men out of the dangling
vehicle. According to Chief Sieverding, paramedic Cory Lemon,
was then lowered on ropes as well, to assist with possible patient
care as the men were being freed from the truck.
Chief Sieverding noted that Buchanan was lowered with a stokes
basket to assist. They would use the stokes basket to lift the
men, one at a time, out of the truck.
Lt. Hornsby, Guenther, and Lemon were present to receive their
medals last week noting they were just doing their jobs.
They didnt think they were heroes or had done anything any
other firefighter or paramedic wouldnt have done. All said
they enjoy their respective positions and said they are ready
should another call of that type come in.
The Versailles Fire Department used over 1200 feet of rope and
an assortment of specialized equipment during the April rescue.
The Technical Rope Rescue equipment was purchased through a grant
from the Rising Sun Regional Foundation. We are so grateful
to the foundation, noted Chief Sieverding. He said they
have enough rope to fully outfit ten people, should such a rescue
The fire chief also praised those involved in the rescue saying
they were willing to put themselves in harms way to save
others. Of course, he noted, they are very grateful to the
Rising Sun Regional Foundation, because they couldnt perform
the rescue without the proper equipment.
Sieverding also noted there were other firefighters and emergency
response personnel on the scene who also did an excellent job
with the rescue.
Volunteer firemen wear a variety of hats in a rural area, sometimes
having to get to places such as the above. Many are also First
Responders who assist with emergency medical care. They are not
paid and volunteer many hours each year to help others. If you
are interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter for any of
the departments, just attend their meetings or ask a fireman on
the squad about the possibility.