CorrespondentSept. 11, 2012, had been a relatively routine day for veteran Statesville firefighter Mike Billings. He was driving his department companion Donna Laney to an elementary school on East Elementary Road where she was going to give a fire safety and education program.Billings planned to stay for the program to lend support, but as they reached the intersection of East Elementary Road and Old Farm Road, some desperate teenagers flagged them down. Billings noticed a teenage girl lying on the ground, having difficulty breathing. That’s when the day became anything but routine as Billings put his 25-plus years of fire department experience to work.He quickly checked her vital signs and found she was not breathing and had only a faint pulse. He began CPR, revived her and continued attending to her until emergency personnel arrived and transported her to Iredell Memorial Hospital. The Statesville girl recovered and is alive today, thanks to Billings’ quick actions. For his heroism, Billings was recently named one of just two 2012 Hometown Heroes at the ElectriCities Annual Conference and banquet held in Asheville on Aug. 3.The Hometown Hero award recognizes municipal employees who have made outstanding efforts to save a life or lives. The awards are presented annually during the awards banquet, attended by public power officials from across the state. “I am very proud of Mike,” said Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh, who attended the awards banquet. “All of Statesville is fortunate to have him as a community member and public servant.” For more than 100 years, Statesville has provided electric service for residential and commercial customers through its municipal electric department. ElectriCities is the service organization that trains municipal employees in many areas, including customer service, safety and technical issues.In addition to Billings, the other hometown hero honored was David Shue of Concord. Shue was working at home in his yard when he witnessed an accident nearby. Shue used his pocket knife to cut the seat belt and pull a female victim from the burning vehicle.Shue and his wife then began administering aid to the two girls until the local fire department and EMS took over. The awards were presented to Billings and Shue at the banquet by several members of the ElectriCities Board of Directors, including board member Jennie Stultz.
Friday, Aug. 23, 2013
Statesville firefighter honored as hometown hero
Dave Vieser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Dave? Email him at email@example.com.
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