It was early January, rain was pouring down and temperatures were frigid when a car slid off the road into a swift-moving, quickly rising creek near the intersection of Bryan and Mexico roads. The driver escaped, but his father was trapped inside the vehicle, which was filling up with water. The father had suffered a head injury, and hypothermia was setting in.
When the call for help came in, first responders from O’Fallon Fire Protection District and the O’Fallon Missouri Police Department headed to the scene. Officer Jordan Wilmes arrived first.
On top of the man’s injuries, the rain was not letting up. The creek continued to rise. Recognizing the severity of the situation, the officer quickly jumped into the frigid creek and kept the victim’s head above water until firefighters arrived moments later.
Wilmes, alongside OFPD firefighters Doug Ellis and Matt Chapman, worked together in chest-deep water to safely get the victim out of the car. St. Charles County Ambulance District paramedics stabilized the victim and transferred him to the hospital. Moments after the rescue, the rising water overwhelmed the car, flipping it over and submerging it under water.
“We are committed to protecting our community and could not be prouder of the heroic efforts of these first responders that night,” OFPD Chief Tom Vineyard says. “Emergency response is a team effort, and we are fortunate to train with officers from the police department and paramedics from the ambulance district on a regular basis. This training makes it easier to step in and work together as a team in situations like these — it truly makes a lifesaving difference.”
It is with profound sadness that the O’Fallon Fire Protection District announces the passing of Battalion Chief Melvin A. Emge. Battalion Chief Emge passed away on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020 at the age of 61.
Battalion Chief Emge proudly served his community with compassion and dedication for 44 years. He was an esteemed member of IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters) Local 2665 and FFAM (Fire Fighters Association of Missouri).
Battalion Chief Emge is survived by his wife Mary, his daughter Katie and his son Tony.
Visitation will be held Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 from 1 to 8 p.m. at Pitman Funeral Home, 1545 Wentzville Parkway, Wentzville, MO 63385. There will be a Uniformed Firefighter walk-through at 7:15 p.m. Casket vigil honors will be afforded during the entire visitation.
The funeral service will be held Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Assumption Catholic Church, 403 North Main Street, O’Fallon, MO 63366. Burial will be at St. Paul Cemetery in St. Paul, MO.
Departments wishing to have apparatus participate in the procession, please contact Battalion Chief Rick Miller at 636-262-6448.
Battalion Chief Andy Parrish is the recipient of the 2019 O’Fallon Fire Protection District William F. Westoff Firefighter of the Year Award. Since joining the O’Fallon Fire Protection District in 1991 as a volunteer firefighter, Parrish has been a transformational member of the team.
This December, Santa will be making visits to neighborhoods throughout O’Fallon Fire Protection District! You’ll know he is near when you hear the sirens on his truck. Below are the dates, times and locations for his scheduled stops. Please note: These are approximate times only. Times will vary depending on the number of people wishing to greet Santa at each stop.
Saturday, Dec. 7 Royallsprings, Spring Orchard, Kensington Place and Cherrywood Parc
Stop 1: Royall Meadows Court (6 p.m.)
Stop 2: Common Grounds Near 222 Royall Trail Lane (6:15 p.m.)
Stop 3: Golden Orchard Drive and Spring Orchard Drive (6:45 p.m.)
Stop 4: Cold Spring Drive and Spring Orchard Drive (7 p.m.)
Stop 5: Near 178 Christina Marie Drive (7:25 p.m.)
Stop 6: Near 212 Sassafras Parc Drive (7:40 p.m.)
Stop 7: Cherrywood Parc Drive and Red Cedar Parc Drive (8 p.m.)
Tuesday, Dec. 10 Forest Park, Diamond Point, Willow Run, Ashford Place, Deerfield, Strawberry Hill Estates and Sundance Gardens
Stop 1: Briscoe Avenue and Taylor Place (6 p.m.)
Stop 2: Allen Drive and Love Drive (6:20 p.m.)
Stop 3: Near 505 Price David Drive (6:40 p.m.)
Stop 4: St. Patrick Drive and Ronnie Drive (7 p.m.)
Stop 5: Aster Lane and Pepper Lane (7:20 p.m.)
Stop 6: Topaz Drive and Zircon Court (7:40 p.m.)
Stop 7: Ashford Place Drive and Begonia Drive (8 p.m.)
Stop 8: Geranium Drive and Deerfield Estates Drive (8:25 p.m.)