When someone's life is on the line, every second counts. The last thing first responders need is a delay caused by troublemakers. That's exactly what's been happening at the Fabius Fire Department.
If a medical helicopter is called to the Fabius community of Jackson County, someone's life is likely fading fast. No time to waste.
That's why the fire department has a helipad.
"They bring them from emergency vehicles to here, then load them from here and take them on out," Theron Hugh Crain told WAAY 31. Crain is Secretary-Treasurer for Fabius Fire.
"This has been going on for about three years," he told us. The problem? "4-wheel-drive pickups and ATVs," Crain says.
People on the ATVs and in the 4-wheel-drives have rutted the rocks on the pad time after time.
"It's intentional,” Crain insists. “They know they're doing it."
Doing drugs on the helipad is another problem according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. "People park there sometimes using drugs?" we asked. "Exactly right," Crain told us.
Besides the recreational drugs, an old coal mine down the road and a popular hunting spot attract more vehicles. "Sometimes they back up to the ramp and unload vehicles on this pad," he told us.
The damage gets to the point air ambulances can't land.
"Now, the Jackson County deputies have done a good job,” Crain explained. “But, they can't be up here all the time."
And every time troublemakers raise hell on the helipad, Fabius Fire has to pay up to $120 to fix it.
Theron Hugh Crain says enough is enough. "I just hope this: put the fear of God in them that's doing it."
If you know anything about who's doing this damage, call the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. Meanwhile, deputies are stepping up patrols.