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Thread: Ohio Department Mourns Loss of Veteran

  1. #1
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    Ohio Department Mourns Loss of Veteran

    Ohio Department Mourns Loss of Veteran

    Updated: 06-26-2006 11:28:27 AM

    Courtesy of The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram

    WELLINGTON -- Why did Allan "Buz" Anderson die?

    The 32 members of the Wellington Fire Department were searching for the answer in seclusion Thursday night while trying to deal with the emotional trauma and grief of losing one of their own earlier in the day.

    The 47-year-old Anderson, a veteran swift water rescue technician and diver, died Thursday afternoon while trying to rescue two teenagers clinging to a tree in the swollen waters of a tributary of the Black River, about a half mile north on Pitts Road.

    Terry Mazzone of the Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative stood in for his friend Chief Robert Walker at a news conference Thursday night to talk about the day's events.

    "The chief and the whole team are too upset to be here tonight," Mazzone said. "They are together, talking about the events of the day, going over what happened, why it happened; they're grieving and lending each other emotional support."

    What the firefighters do know at this point is that Anderson entered the water twice in an attempt to reach the stranded teens and something went terribly wrong on his second attempt.

    Anderson first entered the water from an inflatable boat brought in by the Wellington department. He secured a lifeline, but the current proved too swift for the lightweight boat and it, along with Anderson, was brought out of the water.

    The department called the Findley State Park, which brought a powerboat to the swollen stream and eventually rescued the teens. But it was too late for Anderson.

    Anderson had entered the water a second time, again with a safety line, but disappeared under the water. He emerged briefly before slipping under a second time.

    "Water conditions rapidly deteriorated and he was overcome by the water's current," Mazzone said. "At that point, he was pulled to shore by department personnel using his attached safety line."

    The exact cause of Anderson's death has yet to be determined. "We're awaiting a coroner's report," Mazzone said.

    The teens were in the water for 35 minutes before being rescued by the Findley State Park boat. Mazzone said he didn't know how long Anderson was in the water before he was pulled out.

    Firefighters from the area gathered at the firehouse in Wellington on Thursday night to offer their condolences and support.

    Volunteers from the Oberlin Fire District remained at the Wellington station, ready to respond to any calls in place of their Wellington comrades.

    "They'll be here for as long as they're needed. This has been a bad day for everybody," said Elyria Assistant Fire Chief Robert Dempsey, who was among firefighters from around the area at the Wellington station Thursday night.

    Mazzone said Anderson and his wife, Julia, had four children. He did not know their ages or where Anderson was employed.

    "Details are still sketchy. I'm sorry I don't know a lot myself at this point. Everyone is still very upset," Mazzone said.

    Anderson had been a swift water rescue technician and rescue diver with the Wellington department for four years, but had about 15 years of experience, Mazzone said.

    Anderson's death was the first fatality for the small volunteer department in 30 years and only the third in its 125 year history, Mazzone said.

    "In fact," he said, "we were planning to celebrate the department's history next month. I don't think we will now."


    Allan H. Anderson Jr., 47, volunteer firefighter Allan Howard

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Anderson, Jr., Allan

    Age: 47
    Cause of Death: Other
    Rank: Firefighter/Rescue Diver
    Nature of Death: Drowning
    Classification: Volunteer
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 06/22/2006
    Duty Type: On-Scene Non-Fire
    Incident Time: 13:18
    Activity Type: Other
    Death Date: 06/22/2006
    Fixed Prop. Use:

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Wellington Fire District
    202 Kelly Street
    Wellington , Ohio 44090
    Chief: Robert Walker

    Initial Summary:
    Firefighter Anderson was attempting to rescue two teenagers stranded when their SUV became flooded in the high water of the Wellington Reserve. Area firefighters and a dive team were dispatched to the scene and a boat was sent out to rescue the teens. The boat became entangled in nearby trees. Firefighter/rescue diver Anderson was overcome by the current. He was pulled to shore and CPR was performed. He was taken to an area hospital where he later died.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    The Allan 'Buz' Anderson, Jr. Memorial Fund, The Farmers Savings Bank, 502 South Main Street, PO Box 438, Wellington, Ohio 44090

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