Blount County Special Operations Team assists in rescue



Firefighter/paramedics from the Oneonta Fire Department in support of the Blount County Operations Team were called to assist the Altoona Fire Department last Wednesday night after a 14-year-old boy fell 100 feet off a bluff in Etowah County, according to public safety director Brandon Horton.

Dalton Teal, a Oneonta firefighter/paramedic on the scene, said the boy was alert and talking during the rescue.

Teal said the 14-year-old was walking across the bluff when he slipped. The incident occurred near Altoona on Buzzard Rock Road.

The team received the call at approximately 9:15 p.m. and arrived at Buzzard Rock at 10 p.m. However, they weren’t able to arrive on the scene til close to midnight.

“There were no trails to the patient, the area was not easily accessible, and we were carrying all of our equipment by hand,” Teal said.

A thunderstorm was also approaching during the rescue, and the rain began pouring as soon as they came to the place the boy had fallen, according to Teal.

Kyle Dodd, Andrew Gargus, and Timothy Gipson were also with Teal during the rescue.

At the scene, the team met up with the Boaz Fire Department as well as AMED (Authority Emergency Medical Services) and deputies from the Etowah Sheriff’s Department.

The Blount County Team and Boaz firefighters were able to assist in getting the patient back on the bluff where he was then handed over to AMED and the deputies and transported to a local hospital around 3 a.m.