As Tropical Storm Michael sped through Danville, VA on October 11, dozens of rescue calls flooded the 9-1-1 system. At 3:22 p.m. on Thursday, Danville Life Saving Crew’s Special Operations teams pulled out of the bays to respond to their first water rescue.
Danville Life Saving Crew (DLSC) volunteers and staff put their lives at risk during the torrential flooding to save Danville residents and visitors who were trapped. Though crews were dispersed throughout the City, main points of rescue were Colonial Heights Apartments, URW Community Federal Credit Union on Arnett Boulevard, Riverside Drive, and the intersection of Wendall Scott Drive and Arnett Boulevard.
Initial reports show that DLSC assisted between 100 and 125 people during the storm. They also stabilized more than 15 vehicles so that drivers and passengers could make it to safety. Once pulled from the water, DLSC transported at least 16 people and a dog to area shelters or safe zones. Additionally, more than 40 people were taken from Woodall Chevrolet and relocated. As more information is collected, these numbers may increase.
"We are very proud of how quickly and efficiently Danville Life Saving Crew volunteers and staff members responded," Robbie Wodall, DLSC chief, said. "The area was overwhelmed by the sheer number of calls for help, but our team followed direction and did as we are trained. We were very lucky to have no injuries and minimal damage to our equipment."
Within 24 hours, DLSC answered 40 water response calls, 58 medical calls, 10 motor vehicle calls and 14 confined space calls. On Thursday, at least 25 Danville Life Saving Crew volunteers and Northside staff responded to calls. Additionally, at least 14 volunteers and staff responded to calls and cleanup efforts with the Special Ops department on Friday, resulting in a total of 330 personnel hours.
DLSC’s Dive and Swift Water Rescue teams appreciate the assistance of Danville Fire Department and the City of Danville Police Department during these rescue missions.