The Cat is in the Bag…

Most fire departments only have to get cats out of trees, but everyone knows that this corner of the world is not like all the rest.  Sunday evening Chief Vaughan was contacted by dispatch regarding and pet feline that was in a well on Water Street in the Kinterbish Community south of Cuba.  Units from South Sumter stations went to the scene and found the curious feline to be at the bottom of a deep well.  Chief Vaughan arrived on scene and contacted Chief Larkin, Coatopa, Livingston, SCRS, and requested that she come take a look at the area and see what could be done with the confined space rescue team.  Larkin notified a few members of the team and they arrived on scene and decided that the rescue attempt could be undertaken.  Brown and Son’s wrecker also came to the scene to assist with the raising and lowering of the rescue member and the equipment.  It should be noted that the team members and Chief Vaughan felt that the rescue attempt was low risk and was a good training exercise for all the fire units and rescue team members present. 

After several adjustments, Max the cat was placed in the bag and brought back up the well to his waiting and anxious five your old owner.  Max was most happy to be out of the hole and this one cat that curiosity didn’t kill.  A special thanks to all the fire units that were on scene as well as the Sumter County Rescue Squad, Sumter County SO, and most certainly Mr. Brown of Brown and Sons Wrecker Company. 


The man of the hour was Brian Criswell who is pictured in the far right of this picture.  Criswell is with the Livingston Fire Department and has just recently completed the Alabama Volunteer Firefighter Certification course. 

Brian bringing Max back up the well in a bag.  Brian went in looking for a kitten, but was quick to tell us that this was no kitten.  The bag was no fun for the cat, but being back with his family was worth it I think.

Firefighter Criswell posing with Max and his owner.  He remarked that, “it is not often you get to see the smiling faces of those you help.”

Well done Brian…  People like you are indeed rare!

Photos by C. Wright and J. Shaw.

Incident Command School…

Brierfield Chief McRree invited Cuba Chief Vaughan up to an incident command school that was sponsored by the Central Alabama Fire Attack Organization.  Chief McRee and Vaughan are working on a class for Alabama Fire Chiefs so that they will be better prepared for the demands of the fire service and the ever changing environment that we serve in.  The incident command class put on by GBW, LLC will most certainly be a portion of the program that we put in place in the Alabama area.  It is hoped that the others involved in this project can get together in the next few months to get the program ready to launch. 

 One of the mock scenes in the table top exercises.

One of the instructors playing the part of the press at a local fire scene.  Perhaps this is a good place to talk about how effective this type of class is.  All of the people in the class were exposed to the positions that must be staffed on the fire ground and were made to react to the input of others and the instructors.  While this is far from the real thing, the lessons learned from mistakes here don’t kill and they remind us to better prepare for the real thing.  Everyone who serves in an officers position in the fire service should take a class like this so that they can have their memory jogged before the storm.

Another mock scene…  If we could only purchase trucks for the price of the models.  We would be in good shape!

Instructor Shane Darwick plays the part of the pastor here at this particular call.  Seems the last time the fire department showed up they made a mess.

For more information on CAFAO visit

Cuba Day Fundraiser…

Members of several South Sumter Fire Departments were on hand to conduct a fundraiser for needed equipment.  In addition to a free jumper, the department had members that were “riding” the dunking booth as well as members that were marketing t’shirts.  The day started off very cool, windy, and cloudy (just ask Tony) but despite the weather a great number of people turned out for the event.  There will be several other fund raising events this year and we hope that everyone in the Sumter County area will turn out to support them.  Here are a few pictures from the event…


In addition to Cuba Engine 2, the new tankers at Siloam and Ward were on display for everyone to see.

The Bounce House was free to any child who wanted to use it.  Special thanks to Taylor Rental (Meridian, MS) for making the items we needed affordable to the members that donated their use. 

The chief doing the two things he does best…  Sitting on his rear and drinking coffee.  Poor Tony is about to freeze to death in the background.

Siloam Asst. Chief Hughes and Ward President Reeves posing for the camera.

Dalton Wright is already in training!

Siloam Chief Pendergrass looking rather distinguished and trying not to look like he hurts too much because of his “ear infection”.

Captain Wright and his wife Courtney, take a picture with their son Dalton on the front of the Ward Tanker.  It is impossible run a fire department without people like the Wrights!

Ward Board President Reeves takes a seat on the new tanker.  Mr. Freddy, as he is known to everyone around here, was the founding member of the Ward Station and was one of the founding members of the Sumter County Volunteer Firefighters Association.  He is still a valuable member of the team and can do more than many people half his age.

The newest member at Cuba Fire took the first spin in the dunking booth.  Tony was a good sport despite the very cool temperatures. 

Ward Asst. Chief Bragg ran the dunking booth most of the day.  He also had the same mysterious ear infection that Chief Pendergrass had that kept them off the hot seat.

Engineer Scrivner takes one for the team on the dunking booth.

The Cuba Police Department was on hand…  We couldn’t trick either one of them into the dunking booth.  Next time we will use bait from Krispy Kreme.

Not sure who our model is, but there are still South Sumter Fire t’shirts available in anyone is interested.  Email to make a purchase.

Photos by J. Hughes and C. Wright.

MVA on County 2…

Cuba EMTs and First Responders were dispatched to a single vehicle accident in the 4400 block of County Road 2 Sunday afternoon.  There were three injured in the accident and all were transported to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.