Chesterfield first responders: Teamwork saved lives during tornado outbreak

Chesterfield first responders: Teamwork saved lives during tornado outbreak

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - “Remember this is a once in a career type of incident that we had that day,” Chesterfield Fire Lt. Jason Elmore said Wednesday, just a few weeks after a tornado outbreak struck Central Virginia.

Elmore and his team can’t shake the memories from Sept. 17.

Businesses begin inspecting the damaged caused by tornadoes on Sept. 17. (Source: NBC12)
Businesses begin inspecting the damaged caused by tornadoes on Sept. 17. (Source: NBC12)

“We don’t get this often. We don’t get tornadoes often. We get thunderstorms and things of that nature,” Elmore said.

Elmore says the Fire and EMS training before the storm hit is what helped save so many lives.

“We train on things like building collapses, whether that’s from trees into homes or the winds knocking businesses down,” Elmore said.

The storms turned deadly when the Old Dominion Floor Company’s Warehouse collapsed killing employee Ronnie Bishop.

The roof of Old Dominion Floor Company was ripped off Monday as a tornado blew through the area.
The roof of Old Dominion Floor Company was ripped off Monday as a tornado blew through the area. ((Source: Chesterfield County Fire and EMS))

Elmore praises quick thinking and working together for saving hundreds of other lives.

“I think the teamwork aspect of things was a pro. Getting all of those first responders together,” Elmore said.

Elmore knows in order to grow and get better, crews must be able to look at things that could be improved as well.

“In this situation, we were very good in those response times.” Elmore said Wednesday ahead of a community de-stress meeting.

No matter the weather, Elmore says serving others come first.

“The men and women of chesterfield fire and EMS are going to put our community above themselves and they are going to go above and beyond,” Elmore said.

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