05/01/11 108 W, 1 I - + 1 - 5 Bertie County Volunteer Firefighters Spring into Action After Storm

The Virginian-Pilot today posted a nice feature on the Bertie County volunteer firefighters who responded to the tornado on April 16, 2011. All twelve of the county's fire departments responded, with over 100 firefighters responding within minutes of the touchdown. The twister killed 11 and injured 50 in those first 15 minutes. It's been called the worst disaster in the history of the large, rural county with a population of just over 21,000 people. Read the story. Thanks to David for sending. Readers are also welcome to post their stories from the storms, as they continue northeast from Wake County and toward Virginia.

Virginian-Pilot photo

What are the departments in Bertie County? Here’s a list from FireNews.net: http://www.firenews.net/nc_fds.htm#ber

Blue Jay
Merry-Hill Midway
Legeros - 05/01/11 - 08:55

Mike, thanks for the article posting. That list is correct, as for departments, and the NC Forest Service has a plow and equipment at Green’s Cross on US 17. There is an active Bertie firefighter’s association, as well, which meets monthly. There is one ladder truck in the county, a Pierce in Windsor FD which was recently obtained from Navy surplus. The county fire radio system is VHF high-band and VIPER units are in use by law enforcement and communications; EMS and fire departments are dispatched by Bertie Communications/911, which is part of the Sheriff’s office. Bertie County provides some annual funding to supplement fire departments ($10K per dept.??) so fund-raising events and grant-seeking are a necessity. There are EMS stations currently manned in Colerain, Windsor, and Lewiston-Woodville.
dl - 05/01/11 - 11:04

Speaking of which, FireNews.net today has an interview with the Colerain Fire Chief about the events of that day: http://firenews.net/index.php/news/news_..
Legeros - 05/01/11 - 11:54

dl – how did the Trap FD fare? I tried to contact them and the county EM director but never got a response. Western Wake donated Trap our former pumper/tanker 297 and wanted to see if they had any needs that we might be able to help them with. My wife is from Gates County and the word from folks there and in the news was that they got hit bad. I know the death toll in that county was 11. Thanks for any update you might be able to provide.
D.Cates - 05/01/11 - 14:40

I really don’t have first-hand info on Trap’s situation, as I was not involved in the response over in their part of the county (I was actually out of the county during that storm). I can’t speak for them so it would be best to try to talk directly to them; I am sure they would appreciate it. Also, maybe try the EM director, Rickey Freeman at 252-794-5302 office or email him, rickey.freeman@bertie.nc.gov . As a retired chief of another department, I will say thanks to you and Western Wake for the past help and your current concern to those guys in Trap.
dl - 05/01/11 - 16:44

Thanks dl… I had emailed Rickey but it was like 2 days after the storm… he may not have even gotten to may email due to heavy volume. I’ll try to call. We’re glad to help, just part of the brotherhood.
D.Cates - 05/02/11 - 10:43

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