Stranded students rescued by Brown County cooperation 4-H Teen Ambassador Dunning attends SHOT Show Veterans Service Commission invites veterans to seek help with benefits Unemployment rate rises in Brown County Pick a Lollipop, help a dog A season to remember G-Men hit the field for first baseball scrimmage Eastern’s Rigdon, Purdy earn AP SE District Div. III honors New blocking, kicking rules address risk minimization in high school football Judy A Schneider James M Darnell Lawanda R Truesdell Paul E Grisham Arrelous R Rowland Dennis E Stivers David M Daniels Fayetteville man is charged with child porn April 1st Grand Opening for Jacob’s Ladder Resale Boutique in Georgetown Talent Show auditions at Gaslight Theatre Nine indicted by county grand jury Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall visit coming next May to BC Fairgrounds In it to win it! Bronco wrestlers end season on successful note Eastern’s Hopkins finishes 5th in long jump at OATCCC State Indoor Track and Field Meet SBAAC awards academic all-stars, winning teams Marvin D Atkin Beverly S Flatt Jessie M Sanders Leroy Deck Sr Jody A Towler Sherman E Young Kenneth C Burton Varnau’s face second defamation suit Attorney General to visit Georgetown schools Clermont County GOP hosts Wenstrup, DeWine at dinner Fatal car crash in Adams County BC Chamber welcomes new Cricket Wireless store to Mt. Orab Aberdeen Council approves 2017 budget Royce K Zimmerman Lady Warriors advance to Elite 8 SBAAC awards boys basketball all-stars SBAAC girls basketball all-stars take home awards SHAC Winter Sports Awards Banquet set for March 12 Altman claims 170-pound district title Sirkka L Buller Arthur C Schneider Lowell G Neal Virginia M Schirmer Connie S Darling Harold L Purdin Terry E Frye Lucille Schumacher Lady Warriors roll to district finals Broncos take care of business to claim sectional crown G-Men upset MVCA to earn berth sectional finals WBHS JROTC Rifle Team competes at Camp Perry Lady Rockets finish 12-12 Season reaches end for Rockets Eugene D Ring Two indicted on major drug charges Two charged with home invasion Cincinnati airport expanding services, lowering prices in effort to compete Two sentenced in common pleas court Georgetown man hurt in car crash Robert G Miller Linda M Howland Robert E McKinney Mildred J Hodges Farrel L Amiott Patricia Brown Rick L Dye Mary E Nagel Betty Ratliff Broncos claim SBAAC wrestling title Broncos pull ahead for win over G-Men in SBAAC Tourney Ripley boys wrap up regular season with win at Lynchburg Eastern girls are sectional champs Anderson pleads not guilty to battery charge Some county offices to change locations Fayetteville prepares for Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall HealthSource hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Five sentenced in Brown County Common Pleas Court June Howser Marguerite A Fender Timothy D Harris Jay R Purdy Robin S Godwin Marc A Wachter Chester W Eyre Warriors blast past the G-Men, 61-40 Rockets performing well heading into post-season tournament play Lady Warriors bring home the Gold with perfect 13-0 finish in SHAC Western Brown Junior High wrestling team wraps up successful season Rockets fall victim to ‘Pack’ attack Broncos suffer heartbreaking loss to Mentor Lake Catholic in state quarterfinals Adult Education Center coming to county ‘Senior Playground’ moving forward at Georgetown park Brown County 4-H kicks off another year Eastern Middle School celebrates “Kindness Week” Billie L Shoemaker

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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