Officers respond to life-threatening event


Just after 9 p.m. on July 19, Snead dispatch received a third-party call of a resident in distress. The man, whose name was not released by Snead police, had suffered a head injury after the bulldozer he was using to clear land off Hopewell Road had gone into a ravine.

Reportedly legally blind in one eye, bleeding profusely from his injury, and unable to see his phone numbers, the victim had called his brother who had made the report to dispatch. The victim could not identify his location.

“All pertinent rescue personnel” who received the notice, including Snead police officers Jacob Heaton and Cody Whitehead, arrived at the scene for the search. The official released report reads, “Dispatch was able to make contact with [the victim] at approximately 22:23 [10:23 p.m.]”

He had a head injury, was unable to walk, and had “great difficulty expressing his location or any identifiable landmarks around him. . . . Heaton made contact with dispatch and through the process of elimination [and other attempted successful contacts, he and Whitehead] were able to locate [the man] in an immensely wooded area [of poor] visibility and accessibility.”

The report praises the two officers for “their professional knowledge, training, instinct and skills” as they “remained calm” and provided clear information which led other rescue personnel to the location. The two engaged the victim in reassuring conversation and assisted in getting him to an air medic landing area for transport around 12:30 a.m.

In speaking with The Blount Countian, Heaton in his nine months of employment with the town, reveals when he felt the two had neared the victim, he had asked those speaking with him to have the victim scream. The officers heard that sound and honed in on the site. Police chief Stephen Gunn reports that when he saw the remote accident scene, he understood the difficulty searchers had undergone.

Gunn had reported briefly of the events at the July 23, Snead council meeting.

In action that night, councilors chose not to proceed with a prepared resolution to increase municipal court costs by $10. Court clerk Jennifer Adams has urged implementation of the increase to cover town costs associated with the new software provider scheduled to take over court billing in September.

In the prior meeting, councilors had asked town clerk Rae Ware to prepare a resolution for their review. With the resolution before them, none would move to consider or adopt the proposal.

Adams, asking had the resolution been tabled, warned of possible confusion on billings if the resolution is adopted after the new company begins billing. Town attorney Brett King suggested the council still has time to act prior to the billing change.

Mayor La’Shone Price advised of the completion of paving on Lurleen Drive. He and utilities head Jeff Whited noted continuing work by the town and county commission for header walls on the upside of the culvert whose failure prompted the work on the road.

Councilors accepted the resignation retirement of part-time maintenance employee John Sanders. Members voted to advertise that position.

The council accepted the town’s 2017 audit as printed. Price provided the council with a copy of his administrative memorandum related to town employee regular and overtime working hours. He invited councilor comments on the directive.

Police department trainer Ron Kiker presented alternatives the town might consider relating to an official town website, logo, and email provider. The council had previously directed Kiker to explore those areas.

All members (Price, Tim Kent, Phillip McHan, Greg Ogles, Dale Snead, and Ann Sullins) attended the July 23 meeting. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the town community center.