Troop 41 responds to emergency
Published 3:00 am Saturday, May 9, 2015
When push came to shove last weekend at Camp AlaFlo in New Brockton, the Scouts in Boy Scout Troop 41 in Troy and 150 in Enterprise, knew what to do.
That’s the way David Runion, scoutmaster of Troop 41, described the response of the Scouts when a towering pine tree fell on a tent and knocked two Scouts to the ground.
Mother Nature gave no weather warning on that late spring afternoon. There were no threatening clouds or torrents of rain, just a pleasant sunny afternoon.
Then out of the blue, a towering pine came crashing down on a tent that was set up in open spaces.
“When we saw the tree had hit a tent, we went running to check out the situation,” Runion said. “It was about five o’clock in the afternoon so I had no idea that anyone was in the tent.”
However, when he opened the tent flap, one Scout was struggling to his feet and attempting to exit the tent. Another Scout was penned beneath the branches and the trunk of the tree. That Scout was Runion’s son, Julian Graham.
“I was surprised that anyone was in the tent and shocked to see Julian penned beneath the tree,” Runion said. “He was conscious but I knew he was hurt. I just didn’t know how badly.”
Runion shoved some of the branches away and tried to lift the tree off his son, but his efforts were fruitless. Then, as if by some magical force, some mighty Hand, the tree began to slowly rise.
“It was the strangest feeling. The tree was being lifted off Julian,” his dad said. “I didn’t know anyone else was there. Then, I saw the boys lifting the tree.”
Not a word was being spoken. The Scouts were working in unison as if some fine-tuned machine.
“Everything they had learned about rescue and first aid was coming together,” Runion said.
Once the tree was off Julian, the Scouts did exactly what they had been trained to do.
“Julian was dazed, but he was alert,” Runion said. “The Scouts immobilized his head and neck. With Scouts on each side supporting his head, his chest, abdomen and legs, they carried him as flat as a board and laid him on the picnic table.”
Someone had called 911, and an ambulance was en route. Julian was transported to an Enterprise hospital where he was treated and released to his mom, Debbie Lloyd.
Julian said his memories of the accident are vague, but he remembers the limbs in his face and his friends being there.
“I wasn’t scared because it happened so fast,” Julian said. “But I remember being picked up and riding in the ambulance. My foot hurt the most.”
Julian had a puncture wound on his foot and a bruised chest and a few other knocks and bruises. He was fortunate. If the full force of the tree had hit Julian, his injuries could have been much worse.
And, the quick response of his fellow Scouts alleviated what could have been an even more stressful situation for Julian.
“They got him from under the tree and to a safe place in a very short time,” Runion said. “When push came to shove, the Scouts remembered what to do. They worked together and without any confusion. They knew what to do and they did it. I could not be prouder of the Troop 41.”