Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Schuylkill County Honors Emergency Personnel Who Responded to Deadly Interstate 81 Pile Up

On Tuesday,  Schuylkill County honored the emergency personnel that responded to deadly Interstate 81 crash that claimed 6 lives on March 28th, 2022.

On the morning the March 28th, 2022, heavy snow squalls pushed through Schuylkill County bringing visibility to zero for driver on Interstate 81.  The fast changing weather conditions caused a massive 80 vehicle pileup that injured over 20 people and killed 6.  As of today, April 19th, 2022, we still wait to hear the identities of the 6 fatalities.

The rescue, recovery, and cleanup of the crash would involved over 50 different emergency personnel agencies from Schuylkill County and the surrounding counties.

Tuesday's event, organized by Senator Dave Argall and the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, was held at Wegman's Distribution Center in Highridge Industrial Park, which acted a triage center during the crash.

Elected officials who attended and spoke included Schuylkill County Commissioners Baron Hetherington and Gary Hess, Congressman Dan Meuser, State Representatives Jerry Knowles, Tim Twardzik, and Joe Kerwin,

"Horrific but Heroic is what really describes March 28th.  As bad as it was, without the trained professionals and volunteers this could have been so much worse" said Senator Argall.

“To our dispatcher, police officers, volunteer firefighters, emergency medical technicians, flight nurses, and hospital systems – thank you for your commitment to our community,” said Senator Argall. “I have been informed that the emergency response was carried out so smoothly that the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) would like to learn more about the response from local officials. On March 28th, during one of the most tragic local events in recent memory, we truly saw the best of Schuylkill County.”

“In the midst of tragedy and destruction, caused by unexpected weather conditions on I-81, our emergency personnel including State and local police, local firefighters, ALS/BLS responders, Schuylkill Emergency Management, Schuylkill County 911, Schuylkill County Coroner’s Office, state and municipal officials, medical hospital facility life flights, Wegmans, the American Red Cross, Schuylkill United Way, the Schuylkill Transportation System, local heavy towing companies and lodging facilities all collaborated in partnership to assist the victims of this horrific day,” said Robert S. Carl, Jr., President and CEO, Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce. “We pause to reflect on the lives lost, those seriously injured still recovering and to honor all those who without pause put their lives on the line to carry out their professional services in aiding others. This is the collaborative mutual assistance we have come to respect and honor in Schuylkill County. We are truly grateful for their dedication and service.”

“We are blessed to have such dedicated volunteers in our area,” said Rep. Tim Twardzik (R-123). “Thank you to the first responders who answered the call and put their lives on the line to help our community. Also, thank you to our tow truck drivers who worked around the clock to provide service. Everyone went above and beyond that day in extremely difficult circumstances.”

“Our first responders put their own safety at risk by rushing to the scene to help others in danger,” Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-124) said. “Local first responders acted quickly and professionally to deliver aid to those in need. These men and women did an amazing job under enormous pressure. We want to show our appreciation to our first responders who never know when they may be called on to answer an emergency like this one.”

To close the event, Senator Argall presented first responder organizations with official plaques from the State Senate and Certificates from Congressman Dan Meuser and the Schuylkill County State House Delegation.  

The plaques were presented to Wegmans, Schuylkill County 911, Schuylkill Emergency Management, the Frackville Fire Company, and Minersville EMS, and Minersville Fire and Rescue.

Also in attendance were representatives from assisting organizations that included, Geisinger Life Flight, Medevac, American Red Cross,  LVHN Emergency Department, and Wegmans.

1 comment:

  1. Basically a photo op for every Repub running for reelection.