Wilson County Emergency Management Agency Director Joey Cooper, left, and Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto uncouple the fire hose to officially open the new WEMA Station 1 facility.
Emergency services personnel, elected officials, family and friends gathered Thursday, July 31 for the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency Station 1 Grand Opening at 371 Maddox-Simpson Pkwy., Lebanon.
WEMA Director Joey Cooper said having multiple stations throughout Wilson County will provide better response times in ambulance and fire services. “You know you are in good hands,” he said.
County Mayor Randall Hutto shared a few words about the tremendous work that WEMA, the Sheriff’s Department and other local agencies do to help the community. “This is their life. If affects their families. They don’t have a job like me where they get to go home and sleep and have dinner with their families each night,” he said. “They have a job where they don’t know that they will come home.”
State Reps. Mark Pody and Susan Lynn, Districts 46 and 57, respectively, and District 17 State Sen. Mae Beavers also made comments. Beavers said that ambulance services came to her aid in 2000 when she fell and broke her ankle. “You never know how much you appreciate them until you need them,” she said.
Lynn read a proclamation from Speaker of the House Beth Harwell honoring Deputy Jason Anderson, Dispatcher Maegan McMahon, WEMA Division Chief Shannon Cooper, Shift Commander Lee Bowling, Lt. Terry Bilbrey, EMT-IV Josh Collins, EMT-IV Brandon Owen, Paramedic Kyle Davis, Registered Nurse Sheldon Dreddy, Paramedic Grant Reatherford and LifeFlight Pilot Peter Patton for their coordinated efforts that saved the life of 2-year-old Addilyn Gray on April 11.
The quick work of emergency responders saved Addilyn Gray's life when she almost drowned in a swimming pool. She has made a complete recovery. CAT MURPHY / The Wilson Post
Addilyn’s mother, Melanie Bradshaw, found the young girl unresponsive in the swimming pool and performed CPR until Deputy Anderson arrived.
“They saved the life of this beautiful little girl,” Lynn added.
Following the proclamation, the crowd gathered in front of the station for the traditional uncoupling of a fire hose, officially opening Station 1. Tours of the station and refreshments were provided for guests.
As part of the event, a dispatcher announced via radio to all other WEMA stations and law enforcement personnel listening in that Station 1 was “officially open for all citizens in Wilson County.”
Right after that, a dispatcher in Mt. Juliet said, “On behalf of Mt. Juliet, well done and well deserved.”
Cooper thanked Mike Manous of Manous Design and Steed Brothers Construction Company for their work in designing and building the facility.
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.