When the staff from the 1st Battalion, 398th Regiment at the Major Clifford F. Criley US Army Reserve Center reported Monday morning, they discovered their flag pole assembly had been damaged in the storm over the weekend. The flag was draped down, but not yet touching the ground, and the clips that affixed the flag to the 50-foot high pole were no longer operational.
The Owensboro Fire Department was also at the Reserve Center performing their annual company inspection.
“We do company inspections for businesses in our area to make sure they are up to fire code,” said OFD
Lieutenant Jacob Seaton. “Their lanyard had come off of their flag pole and they asked us to help while we were there doing the inspection. We gladly helped. We called for an aerial and hung Old Glory up there.”
Seaton said, OFD didn’t just call for an aerial (bucket truck), they also used it as a teachable moment for some of the newer firefighters in training.
“We seized the moment and used it as an opportunity to get some aerial training in,” Seaton said. “Every opportunity we can, we use as a training opportunity or a learning experience. We never know what’s going to be thrown at us, so we try to be as well-versed as we can.”
Members of OFD worked together with members of the 398th to reaffix the necessary pieces to the flag pole to get the flag back in working order.
“We were able to, with their help, get the rope retied, restrung and get it clipped up and brought back up to the top of the pole,” said Army Sergeant First Class Matt Reilly. “They did us a favor. They do more than just show up to crashes [and put out fires] — they help out in the community as well.”
Seaton and Reilly said they both hope this experience is not the last of the two departments working together.
“We hope to do more with them in the future,” Seaton said. “We’re both here for the community.”