GRDA rescuers recognized for swift-water rescue during flooding last year.

VINITA – Heroic, life-saving efforts of GRDA Police Officers and local firemen – on display during a swift-water rescue last spring – were recognized by the Grand River Dam Authority this week.

During the April 11 meeting of the GRDA Board of Directors in Vinita, Oaks Firemen Edwin Loco and Hans Hertzler, along with GRDA Officers Jeremy Cantrell, Lynn Hershberger, Lissa Kennedy and Tim Thompson, were all presented with the GRDA Police Life Saving Award for heroic actions on April 29, 2017.

On that date, they were all involved in a swift-water rescue effort along the flooded Double Spring Creek, in southern Delaware County. Working together, they were able to rescue all individuals trapped in multiple vehicles in the flood waters, even after one of the rescue boats capsized, throwing the rescuers into the swollen creek. Fortunately, the swift water rescue training each individual had received was key to making sure everyone went home safely and avoiding what could have been a tragic situation.

“Their training, their equipment and their quick thinking is what kept them all here today,” said GRDA Chief of Law Enforcement/Lake Operations Brian Edwards.

GRDA President/Chief Executive Officer Dan Sullivan added to that, telling the GRDA Board that this situation presented challenges, with rushing water flowing over downed objects to create plenty of hazards. However, everyone went home safely at the end of the day.

“With the training we continue to do and our investment in the equipment, everything came out like it was supposed to,” Sullivan told the GRDA Board. “We’re very proud of the efforts of each of these individuals.”

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes.