By David A. Farrell, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Two Poplarville firemen, Chief Mike White and fireman Nikolos Hines, will be honored for saving a six-year-old lower elementary student’s life last October, White told the board of aldermen on Tuesday.
On another matter, the board discussed some city streets that may be improved, some paved, in what will be a multi-million-dollar street improvement project the board is hoping to implement.
White told the board that the ceremonies honoring Hines and himself will be held at the fire station on Mississippi Highway 53 South on Wednesday, Feb. 13, and that the two will receive Lifeflight Lifesaver Awards in connection with a call that saved a lower elementary student’s life.
When the emergency 911 call came in to the fire station, it took the two firemen less than two minutes to get to the scene where a student had fallen and the impact had caused his respiratory system to shut down for some reason.
Firemen resuscitated the child and officials said they had only about six minutes to do so. The child is healthy now. White said the child and the parents will be at the ceremonies, their first public appearance since the episode occurred. So far, the child has not been identified by authorities at the request of the parents.
The combination of a quick 911 call and relay, and the response by the fire department, showed the importance of 911 and the training that firemen receive in emergency rescue procedures, officials said after the incident.
The ceremonies are planned and sponsored by Lifeflight, one of two companies that provide air-medivac transport for patients in severe medical distress in the Pearl River County area.
White said local media and TV stations from Hattiesburg and the Gulf Coast said they plan to cover the event, and he urged aldermen to attend.
“It’s some good news we can celebrate,” said White.
Hines has been honored once since the episode for his efforts in saving the child’s life. Mayor Billy Spiers awarded Hines a certificate of appreciation from the Heart Association at the Oct. 18 board of aldermen meeting.
Concerning the street improvement project, Spiers asked board attorney Martin T. Smith if the board was limited to spending only $2 million on the project. Smith told Spiers the board could spend more if it wants to, but he said a consulting engineer would need to be engaged to determine what the costs would be for the streets the board chooses to improve and pave. The board would then set the amount of the bond issue requested.
The money needed for the project would be raised by the issuance of bonds, and paid off by a millage applied specifically for paying off the bonds.
Alderman Bill Winborn said he and Spiers had looked at the roads and he urged other aldermen to “ride the roads, too.”
At the last board meeting, aldermen had a list of roads targeted that numbered 20 and was not released publicly because no decisions on anything had been made.
On Tuesday, several roads were mentioned: Pine, Beers, Larkin Smith Drive, Jacobs, Cowart and Allen. Winborn said the roads and streets he inspected were not as bad as he had first thought, but a few were “definitely in need of repair, upgrade and overlay.”
The board is not expecting any opposition on the proposal since paving and upgrading streets is a popular project. However, the law does provide a process for a vote on any bond issue through a petition presented to the board.
In other matters, the board:
— Authorized Spiers to sign a “certificate of substantial completion” for work on the expansion of City Hall.
— Authorized John Hancock and Heath Johnson to attend a pipeline safety program in Gulfport on March 7.
— Authorized Jonathan Head, Joe Bowman, Aaron Tarver and Van Giadrosich to attend a “Leo Survival Spanish” program in Biloxi on April 9 to 11.
— Authorized Russell Miller to attend an Instructor Development class in Laurel on Feb. 18-22.
— Recessed to Feb. 19.