Birmingham first responders reiterate ‘turn around, don’t drown’ after numerous rescues Wednesday

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Birmingham Fire and Police held a press conference Thursday to provide an update on their efforts in Wednesday night’s flooding.

Battalion Chief Sebastian Carrillo says they performed at least 26 water rescues in the area.

“Everybody was taxed yesterday evening. I mean, all of our resources. We were just overwhelmed throughout the entire county,” Carrillo said.

One of which was at 28th Street North and Norwood Boulevard, where two Birmingham Police Officers pulled an unconscious woman out of a submerged vehicle.

Officers Michael Burnett and Anthony Evans wouldn’t consider themselves heroes in this situation, just two officers doing their job.

“I’m glad she’s alive. Thank god that she’s alive. And I did my best to bring her back,” Officer Burnett said.

“Everyone thinks policing is about taking people to jail and writing tickets. Nope. Policing is about taking care of people,” Officer Evans said.

Battalion Chief Carrillo emphasized ‘turn around, don’t drown’ during Wednesday’s briefing. He says when people try to drive through flooded roadways and get stuck, it can put a lot of people in danger.

“As well as our first responders that have to respond, once they’re out there, they find themselves in a bad situation,” Carrillo said.

He says flooded roads at first glance can look like the water isn’t deep, but the water is misleading. He says while Wednesday’s flooding came down quick and it was hard for people to prepare, he encourages everyone to do what they can to get off the roads.

“To just stay home and not to become a part of the problem that we are presented,” Carrillo said.

Both Birmingham Fire and Police commend what officers Burnett and Evans did, and if it wasn’t for them being in the area, things could have been a lot worse.

“That if these Birmingham Police officers had not been on the scene, she would not be alive today.” Carrillo said.

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