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Thumbs of the week: First responders save boy’s life

Staff Reports • Updated Apr 28, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Thumbs up to the Lebanon Fire Department first responders who rescued Noel Ayala, a 16-year-old boy who was rescued from flooding waters in Lebanon on Saturday. Ayala got a chance Tuesday to meet and thank them. Ayala was caught in waters near East Adams Avenue, close to Office Max in Lebanon. He was clinging to a telephone pole when firefighters arrived. The three-man crew who responded – Jeff Davenport, Sean Grizzle and Jason Gass – are all trained in swift water rescue. Gass went into the water to get to Ayala, while Davenport and Grizzle pulled them both out of the water. Gass waded about 75 yards into the water, according to a Lebanon fire shift commander who was on the scene. Ayala was carried from the location where he was found to a gravel parking lot by the road. Ayala was in the water for about 15-30 minutes before he was rescued, he said. The rescue took about 15 minutes. Once he was pulled from the water, officials determined Ayala was in stable condition, and he had no serious injuries. 

 

Thumbs up to Lebanon officials who held a groundbreaking ceremony for the latest fire hall Tuesday and announced it would be called the Joe Hayes Fire Hall No. 4. Hayes served the citizens of Lebanon’s Ward 4 for more than 20 years. He also served as a coach with Lebanon Girls Softball Association for 16 years. During his time as a councilor, Hayes served on the Lebanon Planning Commission, as well as the Industrial Development Board, Transportation Public Works Committee, Recreation Committee and the Lebanon Airport Commission. The Joe Hayes Fire Hall No. 4 will be at the intersection East Division Street and State Route 109. Henry and Hank McCall donated the land in front of Wilson Bank & Trust to the city last year.

 

Thumbs up to a record number of area nonprofits that are busy preparing in a big way for the fourth annual Big Payback that will take place May 3. A total of 781 Middle Tennessee nonprofits, churches and schools will be participating in the 24-hour online giving challenge, an initiative of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The total includes 112 organizations from 14 counties that will participate in the Big Payback for the first time. Issue impact areas include human services, education, animals, community improvement, youth development, health, housing and shelter, arts and culture and the environment. For more information, visit thebigpayback.org.

 

Thumbs down to the rain throughout last weekend that resulted in flooding in several areas in Wilson County and the postponement of some local events. According to meteorologists with the National Weather Service, parts of Wilson County received anywhere from 4-5 inches of rain cumulatively throughout the weekend. On average, the Nashville area saw about 4.47 inches of rain, though some parts of Middle Tennessee had as much as 6 inches of rainfall. The National Weather Service issued several flood advisories for Wilson County during the weekend, starting with one Friday evening. The last advisory expired early Monday morning.

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