The day started early this morning as I was up at 5:00 a.m. getting the coffee ready for the Disaster Relief group. Rob Peavy had given me a heads up about this event a few days before. The first to arrive right before 6:00 a.m. was Wayne Miller. He was one of the instructors and was making sure everything was in order before everyone got there. It was good to meet Wayne and we talked all throughout the day. He bought four dozen doughnuts to go along with the coffee. This helped get the cold morning off to a good start.
There were forms to sign, speeches to be made and then finally three groups were formed and off they went, well after everyone had all the necessary safety equipment in hand. Did I mention this was the “Chain Saw Division”?
This group of guys had already been in the classroom but needed some hands on training to be officially certified. It was a very diverse group as several counties were represented. Each group had three trees to cut down but first everyone watched closely as the instructors first demonstrated the proper technique. I asked Wayne who the guy was with all the patches on his jacket. He said that was Mr. Chainsaw...he wrote the book on cutting trees down. One of the guys in the group, Walter McGehee, I have known for years because he and I both work for the Huntsville Fire Department. This training lasted until about 12:30 p.m. and the guys were good and ready for lunch. Everything seemed to go well though one group had to get a rope to get one of the trees down and another group had to cut another tree down when the first tree hung up.
I asked Wayne to send me the list of names of who was present on this particular morning. Instructors: Wayne Miller, Ron Warren, Billy Key, and Jerry Butler. Students: Dwayne Blackmon, David Colvard, Billy Entrekin, Paul Fuehrer, Jim Headrick, Neil Jensen, James Knight, Les McCollum, Walter McGehee, Steve Pinion, Bobby Smith, David Beach, Marc Salverson, Rowe Smith, and Charles Sanford.