Hometown Heroes: Recognizing Tracy Blazicek, Nicholas Platt, Jerry Russell
This week's Servpro Hometown Heroes segment recognizes three heroes: Tracy Blazicek, Nicholas Platt, and Jerry Russell. The American Red Cross recognized the three with the Fire Rescue Award.
On Aug. 14, 2018, after numerous heavy rainstorms, the Big Snake Creek in the southern end of Conklin overran its banks and started flooding Conklin Road between Montrose Drive and Stillwater Road.
The rapidly rising water were trapping people in houses and sweeping cars off the road, trapping drivers inside.
First Assistant Chief Tracy Blazicek, Second Assistant Chief Nick Platt and Water Team Capt. Jerry Russell deployed the department's 14-foot inflatable rescue boat, in very hazardous conditions, to assist those in need.
Their first assignment was at Conklin Road and Montrose Drive, where six inches of water flooded the roadway, trapping a driver in a car at the intersection.
A man on a tractor rescued the driver and then tried to turn back into his farm to get his animals to safety.
"He turned around, the driver of the tractor turned around, trying to get back in the farm but the water was rising rapidly, and as he turned back into the farm, the driver of the tractor apparently got swamped and we didn't realize it," said Water Team Capt. Jerry Russell.
The water suddenly rose to 2 feet on the road and engulfed the tractor.
The Conklin Team was able to reach the tractor despite the rising water and debris, rescuing the man and getting him safely to the Command Center.
This rescue was just one out of many the team did that day.
The dedication and training of these men once again prevented a tragedy in Conklin, as it has in many previous floods there.