MEMPHIS, Tenn (localmemphis.com) – Emergencies like the flooding in Texas can cause public services, like dispatch, to get tied up. This can lead people to ask for help in unique ways.
Two Shelby County Fire Department employees were deployed to Texas as a part of the Tennessee Task Force One. Deputy Fire Chief Glen Kneeland decided to post a simple Facebook message to let other firefighters know.
Little did he know where that post would lead.
Carolyn Gish saw the post and reached out to the department to let them know of two people stuck in their Houston home.
“I knew that people were reaching out any way to get family and friends help and this just so happened to be her way to help,” says deputy chief Kneeland.
Kneeland used his contacts to get the information to water rescue teams.
“They got the closest rescue team to this lady’s address and within about two hours this man and woman were rescued,” says Kneeland.
Gish personally did not know the two people but was able to provide their address. She saw a post on Facebook asking for help and decided to take action.
Kneeland says he’s never seen anything like it.
“Always try 9-1-1, but it has been proven in this disaster, not just in our situation, but in other situations throughout the country that sometimes social media is a good way to get the information across,” says Kneeland.
The Shelby County Fire Department wants to remind everyone to always call 9-1-1 first in an emergency situation, and save things like social media for the last ditch effort.