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Two Jackson County men recognized for rescue efforts in dock fire at Jackson County Park

"It was pretty humbling, you know, a group of your peers, to honor you like that. I've been doing this for 40 plus years, and never thought that this would happen," said Robert Shook, Scottsboro Jackson County Rescue Squad.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 3:19 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2020 6:44 AM

Almost a year ago, eight people lost their lives in a fire at a dock in the Jackson County Park.

Countless first responders rushed to the scene to help, including two men who were honored this month for their efforts.
Meet Robert Shook and Brian Eakin.

Shook is the owner of a gun and pawn shop and a volunteer with the Scottsboro Jackson County Rescue Squad for more than 40 years.

Eakin is a sergeant for the Scottsboro Police Department.

WAAY 31's Sophia Borrelli met them at the Scottsboro Gun and Pawn where their night started back on January 27th 2020.

"Burglary alarm had gone off here about 12:30 and I responded to the alarm and Brian was here with me when the call for the fire came in and they said they had people in the water so we immediately left this building and went to the rescue squad building and he assisted me in getting one of our rescue trucks and a boat and he met me at the park and we put a boat in the water and started looking to get people out of the water," said Shook.

The two said when they got to the scene they went straight into action.

"The first trip that we made, we got four people into the boat and got them to the dock. Then we went back out and got three more," said Eakin.

"It's what you've trained for, for years," said Shook.

Because of their efforts to save those seven people, the two recently were awarded the Citizen of the Year and Rescuer of the Year awards from the Alabama Association of Rescue Squads.

"It was pretty humbling, you know, group of your peers, to honor you like that. I've been doing this for 40 plus years, and never thought that this would happen," said Shook.

Both men said that if it wasn't for the alarm going off at Scottsboro Gun and Pawn that night, they wouldn't have been able to their boats and into the water so quickly to save so many lives

"We don't look to be honored. We were just glad that some higher power put us in the right spot at the right time where we could interact and make a difference in the whole situation. Get something positive out of the negative that happened," said Eakin.

"We call it divine intervention because there was nothing going on at the store. There was a motion sensor going off inside the building. There was nothing wrong here or why else would I have been out at 12:30 at night," said Shook.

The men say the community will never forget that day back in January.

"I think it's brought a lot of people closer together, especially in our organization," said Shook.

Both were honored to be recognized for their efforts that day.

Two true heroes in the Jackson County community.

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