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Massive Response Shows Area First Responders’ Love for Children

GARY, WV – Yesterday, a massive response came together within 20 minutes when a family was reported missing.
At 11:04 a.m. Tuesday morning, Tazewell County Emergency Services notified the McDowell County 911 Center that a family of four, husband, wife, and two children, were stranded on Number 6 Mountain near Gary and had been overnight.
Officer S.P. “Pat” McKinney of the Gary City Police Department was notified and he put a search and rescue plan in motion. Within fifteen minutes, four men and three vehicles from the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, two all-wheel drive Fire Trucks, fifteen firefighters from Gary and Anawalt Fire Departments, and two community volunteers joined McKinney to start the search. State Police Sergeant C. McKenzie also made his troopers and vehicles available if additional manpower was needed.
Five minutes into the search, the vehicle was found empty at the start of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail. Moments later, the missing family were found to be at the Gary Bantam and crews responded to make sure the children were alright.
“Corporal A. D. Perry found where they had built a temporary shelter and built a fire to stay warm. The kids were healthy and acting like it was all a big adventure,” said McKinney. “We interviewed them for danger signs of the coronavirus and found nothing to invoke quarantine. After they were strongly encouraged not to violate the Stay-at-home Order and off the trails, a family member took them home. The large, quick response shows the dedication of McDowell County first responders to the safety of children in the area.”