Rangers rescue truck driver

In August, three Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) rangers, who were fighting the Honey Prairie Complex fire in the Okefenokee Refuge, came upon a local log truck driver inside the coverage area of the Refuge. The driver, staggering and in near shock, was suffering from severe burns following a radiator cap explosion.

Ranger Ron Calhoun from the Treutlen/Wheeler area promptly called for an incident medic and notified the Incident Command Post. Ranger Payton Turner from the Morgan/Walton area and Ranger Rusty Carroll from the Elbert/Franklin/Hart/Madison area began first aid. Since the patient was on a remote road, the GFC rangers transported him to the main highway to meet the medics, while keeping him stable.

Upon arrival, the medics experienced issues with cell phone coverage and 911 contacts.  During this time the patient began to go into shock, but was stabilized and cared for by GFC rangers until the communication issues were resolved. The driver was then flown to a burn center in Gainesville, Florida. His throat had severe swelling from the antifreeze that sprayed in his face, and he was treated for second and third degree burns. Three days later, the driver was  listed in stable condition. The quick response of the GFC professionals likely saved the truck driver’s life. 

GFC Director Robert Farris remarked, “GFC professionals from across the state have been away from homes and families for weeks and months, protecting and serving Georgia citizens’ lives and property.” 

Pictured from left: Payton Turner, Ron Calhoun and Rusty Carroll

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