Local officers to help in worst hit areas

Published 3:22 pm Thursday, April 28, 2011

Officers from Clanton and Jemison police departments as well as the Chilton County’s sheriff’s departments are helping areas devastated by tornadoes Wednesday.

Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell said his officers were going to Legion Field in Birmingham and then on to help in places like Tuscaloosa, Pleasant Grove, Cordova and Reform. Sheriff’s deputies were already on the scene Thursday morning.

Local officers will help relieve efforts through at least Sunday, possibly a week or more, Stilwell said.

As officers respond to help on the ground, the departments are also collecting water, blankets and nonperishable food to carry with them as they go into some of the hardest hit areas. Items may be dropped off at the Clanton Police Department, Jemison City Hall or Chilton County Jail.

Other county personnel were called on Wednesday to help other tornado victims.

Chilton County EMA Director Bill Collum said a local canine team was sent to Marion County to help search for victims, and a mobile emergency room was requested by Tuscaloosa’s Druid City Hospital.

Arriving with the unit was five trauma nurses, other county personnel and two inflatable tents that can be used to treat victims.

Though Chilton County was mostly spared, Stilwell said damage reports across the state are widespread and extensive.

“We got lucky,” he said. “We got lucky.”