Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hail to the volunteer firefighters of Antioch, Illinois

Not every search works. All too often the rescuers find nothing, or a body. This time, in the dark of a cold night, they struck gold.
Wisconsin boy missing from hunting party found alive

... Two Antioch, Ill. firefighters, who were part of a large search group, found Ben Maerzke of Kenosha laying in the snow at about 1:40 a.m. Sunday about a quarter of a mile from where rescuers stationed their command post, sheriff's Sgt. Horace Staples and Floeter said.

... Staples said the boy was coherent but about to fall asleep and in a deep hypothermic state when firefighters found him in the 1,000-acre New Munster Wildlife Area.

... He was taken to Memorial Hospital in Burlington, where he was recovering from frostbite to his feet on Sunday night, the television station reported. He was to be kept overnight in the hospital and possibly released as early as Monday afternoon, the station said.

It's about 16 miles from Antioch to Wheatland. The Antioch firefighters are volunteers:
...The Antioch fire department consists of volunteer firefighters and a volunteer rescue squad...
These men (and women) were joined by a "large" (I'd guess hundreds) group of fellow heroes and family in the dark cold night. Hail to them all. They shouldn't need to pay for their beer for a while.

Update 12/7/06: Across the nation, another story of search ended in a mixture of sorrow and rescue. A two state search is so difficult, it is a minor miracle that Mr Kim's family was found alive. Rest easy Mr. Kim, you did all a father could do.

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