Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Women return to county jail as funds start to run low Georgetown Council takes action on vacant structures Veterans honored in Mt. Orab John McGee Timmy Burson Patricia A London Mary J Hall Kenneth R Behymer Western Brown’s Joe Sams commits to Marietta College WBHS to hold girls youth basketball camp Huseman signs with UC Clermont Day to continue baseball career on collegiate level at UC Clermont Western’s Pack signs with NKU WBHS to host youth boys basketball camp Eastern’s Rigdon, Hopkins are STATE BOUND James Ratliff Robert P Lesko Armstrong sentenced to twenty years on child porn possession charges Russellville hires new Village Clerk Russellville Council approves purchase of two ambulances

Honoring a local hero

RIPLEY — If not for the heroic actions of Ripley Police Department Corporal Joel Barnett, Cheyenne Kirk may not have been in attendance at Ripley’s Village Council meeting on October 27.

Kirk, then 16-years old, was caught in the rising waters outside her home as Ripley, Georgetown, and many parts of Brown County felt the devastating effects of flash flooding and torrential downpours on the night of July 18.

According to a report in WCPO-TV, Kirk had left her home to try to swim for help as the overflowing waters from Red Oak Creek started making inroads in her house.

But the flood waters were too strong, and after originally holding onto nearby cars and a fence post, the rushing waters pushed her away. She reportedly grabbed onto the siding of a neighbors home, and stayed their for 45 minutes, holding on for dear life. That’s where Barnett found her.

Barnett and Donald Smithe Jr. were the first Ripley police officers to respond to the scene.

“We ran down the street,” Barnett recalled in a phone interview earlier this month. “(Smith) had the radio because I had taken my gun, belt, vest, and boots off so I could swim better. We were getting calls and using our cell phone. We just got word that there was a girl hanging off the side of the house. We made our way to the house and we saw the parents yelling. She was a type-one diabetic and she was in shock. We made our way down the siding and grabbed her and pulled her out.”

Last Tuesday night, with a packed crowd in the audience and Kirk and her parents Tim and Darla in attendance, the village of Ripley honored Barnett and Smithe, and allowed Kirk a moment to thank her rescuers.

Ripley Police Chief Harvey Bowman introduced the policemen to the audience. Smithe’s father Donald Smithe Sr. was in attendance as Smithe Jr. is currently enrolled in the Ohio State Highway Patrol academy.

As Barnett and Smithe Sr. received certificates from Bowman, Kirk came over to Barnett to thank him through tears. As she did, she collapsed into his arms, and the two embraced in an emotional moment for everyone in attendance.

Barnett, Smith, and Kirk were given a standing ovation during their hug and even after.

“The medal of valor is awarded to both these officers for an act which endangers their lives in which they decide to act upon that and save another’s life,” Bowman said at the village council meeting. “Both of them put their lives in danger that night to save her.

“Neither one of the officers bragged about it. Neither one of the officers said they didn’t do more than what they should have done in the line of duty, and that’s more commendable to me as a police officer, that they didn’t go around and brag and want the publicity. They did a heroic act in saving a life, and I know the Kirk family appreciates it.”

Ripley Mayor Tom Leonard then read out a proclamation recognizing the heroism of Barnett and Smithe Jr.

“Whereas the village council wants to commend Barnett and Smith for their rapid response and heroism demonstrated on July 18 for the example they set for the citizens of Ripley,” read a part of the proclamation.

Bowman revealed that the ceremony was organized on the recommendation of village council and a request from the Kirk family.

“When you hear this at three o’clock in the morning, you’ve got two officers wading out in chest-deep water, you kind of wonder, ‘Oh my gosh’,” Bowman said. “They just took their lives in their own hands for someone else.”

Barnett received a second accolade following his honor from the village. Leonard presented Barnett with a plaque for being named the Brown County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Barnett was one of five nominees in the county, with all five nominees serving as EMTs and first responders for their departments.

Joel Barnett receives a plaque from Ripley Mayor Tom Leonard for winning Brown County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_JoelBarnettLeonard1-DanielKarell-.jpgJoel Barnett receives a plaque from Ripley Mayor Tom Leonard for winning Brown County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Ripley Police Department Corporal Joel Barnett receives a hug from Cheyenne Kirk, who Barnett saved from the side of a house during the flash floods in Ripley on July 18. Barnett was honored for saving Kirk’s life at Ripley’s October 27 Village Council Meeting.
http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_BarnettCheyenneKirk.jpgRipley Police Department Corporal Joel Barnett receives a hug from Cheyenne Kirk, who Barnett saved from the side of a house during the flash floods in Ripley on July 18. Barnett was honored for saving Kirk’s life at Ripley’s October 27 Village Council Meeting.
Village of Ripley and Cheyenne Kirk thank Corporal Joel Barnett for saving her life

By Daniel Karell

dkarell@civitasmedia.com

Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell

One comment:

  1. Thanks to Barnet and Smith I have my daughter if not for them she would have been another horrible story for that night. I love both of these men and I will be forever thankful to them. And as I have told Smith him and Barnet will always be a part of our family I thank God for them everyday and pray that now God keeps them save through all their days. Love you both and again I can’t thank you enough and everytime July 18 comes around my family always remember that horrific day.

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