Hopkins County Sheriff’s Sgt. Paul Fenimore was presented a Medal of Valor by Hopkins County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Rickey Morgan and Lt. G.K. McLarry for his rescue of a woman and child from their burning home May 22.
Fenimore was in town when he heard emergency responders dispatched to 122 Park St. to an apartment fire. He responded to lend assistance to officers, going door to door knocking to make sure all of the residents were out.
His response provided much-welcome backup as city fire officials’ response was limited. Longview and Grapevine firemen were staffing Sulphur Springs Fire Department, with Hopkins County firemen standing by, that morning so that SSFD firemen and city officers could attend the funeral of SSFD Chief Gerry Cleaver, who died following a battle with cancer.
Upon learning that a woman and child were in an apartment upstairs, Fenimore put a cloth over his face and forced upward in what was becoming heavy smoke to reach them. After knocking at the door several times and calls to the woman went unanswered, Fenimore “breached the door,” kicking it open to reach the woman and infant, who were helped out of the building.
The on-scene fire officer told officers that had Fenimore not taken the initiative at risk to himself, the woman and child within 1-2 minutes likely would have sustained serious injury, possibly even death, from the smoke and rapidly spreading heat from the blaze. The blaze reportedly “gutted two apartments and damaged several others in the seven-unit building.”
Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office presented Fenimore, who has also served several tours in service — including Afghanistan — with the Medal of Valor for his heroic efforts.
In addition to the medal, Fenimore also received a framed letter citing his efforts and will be presented the appropriate designation for his uniform, as well.
HCSO Deputy Koby Hume and Cpl. Dennis Findley were also recognized during an HCSO patrol meeting Wednesday afternoon for their heroic efforts Sept. 2 to free a man trapped under his tractor beneath a tree.
Hume and Findley were the first to arrive when emergency responders were dispatched to County Road 4616 to a traumatic injury call involving a man trapped under a tractor. The deputies reported the man had apparently been working on the tractor when it experienced difficulty and the tree fell over on it. The man was under the large tractor with the tree on the tractor.
After a quick assessment, they realized the situation to be perilous due to the nature of the man’s injuries. Unable to move the large tree by themselves, the deputies began looking for a means to remove it so that Hopkins County Emergency Medical Services personnel could easily get to and begin treating the man immediately. Spotting a shed nearby, the deputies ran to it, located a chainsaw inside and took it back to the accident sight. They used it to cut a limb enough to move the tree and free the man by the time EMS arrived. The nature of the man’s injuries and position made getting him out challenging, but with the tree out of the way they were able to get right to it.
EMS praised the deputies efforts, according to McLarry.
Both Hume and Findley were presented a framed “Letter of Commendation” for their heroic efforts to help rescue the trapped man.
Findley, upon receiving the commendation, noted that Fenimore also responded to the tractor crash. They just were closer and arrived before he did.
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