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Junior Firefighter Killed In Flooding

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  • bcossey
    replied
    First Responder

    90% of our calls are medical & MVA calls it was assumed it was an MVA with people trapped The 911 office in this county only has 1 employee @ night
    there were several tornadoes in the southern part of the county Hardy 8 miles away were having rescues of their own @ first I blamed myself,then Central Dispatch, then blamed other FD that wre trained for water rescues that did not respond .Now I know that it was just a freak accident, it was Christophers time to be called home. Myself or my my family will never be the same. I will never personally respond to another page to Martin Creek . Thank everybody for their prayers, thoughts,and condolences. Thanks for listening this will be my last post. Bill Cossey WVFD

    Leave a comment:


  • Firefighter2230
    replied
    Originally posted by bcossey
    As far as I know being engaged at any age is legal, the wedding plans were being made for when they turned 18
    No its not but having a son that young????

    I give my thoughts and prayers to you chief.

    Leave a comment:


  • cozmosis
    replied
    If there was no mention of high water...

    Originally posted by bcossey
    Central Dispatch never paged a water rescue, a woman and three kids were trapped near Martin Creek Fire Dept on Martin Creek Road there never was any mention of high water.
    So how was the call dispatched? What information did you guys have?

    Leave a comment:


  • 231Engine
    replied
    God Bless, Chief Cossey. I am sorry for the loss your family has suffered.

    Leave a comment:


  • bcossey
    replied
    ehs7554 If you do not cross running water in Sharp county Ar you would never be able to leave home except for major roads ,all secondary roads have low water bridges with water running across them year around. As far as I know being engaged at any age is legal, the wedding plans were being made for when they turned 18

    Leave a comment:


  • backsteprescue
    replied
    Rest in peace brother...........this is truely a sad story. I am sorry for your loss Chief.


    I know at our dept the water rescue class was optional, and there are guys who would not trust themselves out on the river performing a rescue. And I am not saying this is relation to the death of Christopher, I am saying this in relation to water rescues, if you aren't a good swimmer don't try it. I know ff/medics who would feel better having me make a rescue, the lowly explorer captain/lifeguard, who also happens to be a varsity swimmer and water polo player. Whether or not it would be allowed is another story. I would feel confident in pretty much any situation in our area that may arise, but swimming 8-12 thousand yards a day and treading water for an hour a day will do that do you.

    Christopher, you are a brave soul that will not be forgotten, rest in peace brother.

    Leave a comment:


  • tbonetrexler
    replied
    Originally posted by FlyingKiwi
    Kia Kaha.

    Kia Kaha.

    Christopher Bodkins

    Brother, you fought for anothers life.

    THAT makes you a WARRIOR.

    KIA KAHA Christopher, KIA KAHA.

    I will greet you later my BROTHER.

    The rest of you, show some respect to the MAN.

    Some go through this life for 100 years and make no difference.

    THIS name Christopher Bodkins should burn in our hearts.

    Like all before him.

    KIA KAHA
    ditto.....

    Leave a comment:


  • ehs7554
    replied
    Haven't most of us heard not to drive through moving water that has flooded a street or bridge? It dosen't take much.

    This is a very sad event and I feel bad for the families involved.

    Aside from this, I was puzzled to see that he was engaged. At 16? Did I read the previous post wrong? Is this legal?

    This will be especially tuff for a very young fiance to take in. hopefully someone has brought in councilors.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChiefReason
    replied
    Originally posted by bcossey
    I am the stepfather that was driving the (apparatus) my own personal vehicle. Central Dispatch never paged a water rescue, a woman and three kids were trapped near Martin Creek Fire Dept on Martin Creek Road there never was any mention of high water. This is out of our district, we were trying to provide mutual aid for another Dept. I have to cross a low water bridge to leave my house the water was no more than 6 inches deep. High water was the farthest thing from my mind.
    Williford Volunteer Fire Dept has no water rescue, we have never responded to a swift water rescue, and never would because we are not trained or equipped for this.
    Radio communications in this part of the county are minimal at best ,even these new expensive FEMA radios do not do an adequate job.
    For the ones who offered thier condolences Thank You.
    For the ones who want to say anything bad 98 East Mary Rd Williford,Ar is where I live, come visit offer your opinion instead of run your head behind a fictious name on a computer. Bill Cossey Asst Chief Williford Vol. Fire Dept
    Chief:
    I am so sorry for your loss. Please understand that the participants of these boards were responding to very limited information. Also, please understand that many want to learn from these tragic incidents in the hopes it will save other lives. And I won't defend anyone who throws out a reckless comment.
    You were there that day. You know what happened. It can't be easy for you.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
    And I doubt anyone will take you up on your invitation, unless it is to offer you their personal condolences.
    Again, my condolences.
    CR

    Leave a comment:


  • FlyingKiwi
    replied
    Kia Kaha.

    Kia Kaha.

    Christopher Bodkins

    Brother, you fought for anothers life.

    THAT makes you a WARRIOR.

    KIA KAHA Christopher, KIA KAHA.

    I will greet you later my BROTHER.

    The rest of you, show some respect to the MAN.

    Some go through this life for 100 years and make no difference.

    THIS name Christopher Bodkins should burn in our hearts.

    Like all before him.

    KIA KAHA

    Leave a comment:


  • NJFFSA16
    replied
    I wish people would wait until ALL the facts come out...before they make their remarks....please!


    Rest in peace brother...you will be missed by the entire firefighting community!

    WILLIFORD — Family and friends described Chris Allen Bodkins as a tall, skinny kid with bushy hair who loved life, was happy-go-lucky and had a passion for hunting and driving the “ragged old” family Jeep.

    In fact, Friday night, the Jeep was so packed “you couldn’t put an orange between ‘em” when he and friends went mud riding. They were at the top of the hill where they live when the brakes failed.

    “They headed down the hill about 60, 70 miles an hour, hit that big mud hole at the bottom of the hill, and all of them came with mud drippin’ off their noses,” his mother, Angalina Cossey, said, laughing. “And he was just laughin’, tellin’ them how good of a driver he was, how he missed a tree.

    “They broke the mold when they made Christopher Allen, I swear. There’ll never be another one,” she said. “Independent, wild yet under control, spontaneous ... always playing pranks on people, always aggravatin’.”

    Chris died Saturday on duty as a junior firefighter while on his way to a call to help a woman and three children stranded in a cabin because of flooding caused by severe thunderstorms. He was 16.

    Chris was born in Helena. His father and mother are Riley Bodkins of Brinkley (owner of a fish farm) and Angalina Cossey of Williford (manager of Family Dollar Store in Hardy). Chris moved to Williford when he was about 13 years old, and between the families (his stepmother is Betty Miller and stepfather is Bill Cossey), he has 12 brothers and sisters.

    His siblings and friends said he was a protective, good brother and friend who taught many of them how to drive and knew how to have fun.

    “We’d sometimes go fishing, hunting and swimming, and stay up all night watching TV,” 13-year-old brother Jeremy said. “His favorite place to sleep was on the couch.”

    Chris’ hobbies were guns, cars and caps (the rattier the cap was, the better). Oh, and he loved to hunt deer and squirrels.

    “The day before he went out and killed two squirrels,” Angalina said. “He calls me, pickin’ on me, ‘Hey, I had to go out and kill something cuz you wouldn’t feed me.’”

    From the time he moved to Williford he would not wear tennis shoes. His mother had to buy him a pair of boots “like his daddy wore. And he never put his pants legs outside his boots; he had them stuffed inside his boots and he started a redneck trend, a new trend at Williford School! I think he was trying to be like he was, just one of a kind.”

    Despite the fact Chris didn’t want to wear a shirt — “if they didn’t make him, he wouldn’t” — and liked wearing his pants in traditional hip-hop fashion. The main thing Chris stayed in trouble at school over was dipping snuff.

    “Basically he was a good kid, you know,” his stepdad said. “You know, around home, he was lazy like any 16-year-old kid but you get out there, anything he could do ... you’d say you needed something and he’d get it.

    Bill was a volunteer firefighter and last year when Chris was 15 he asked to go with him, and then joined the fire department as a junior firefighter. Bill said that basically all Chris could do was bring anything to the firefighters they needed, and help with the cleanup.

    “When everything is said and done, after a fire you’ve got to clean up, load everything back up, take it to the station, clean it. He was the first one on his knees with the Ajax and the brush, cleaning the hoses and getting them ready to go back on the truck.

    The firefighters had spent a few hours at a fire before the pager went off at 3 o’clock that Saturday morning. Before they ever got a word out, Chris was dressed and ready to go, waiting on Bill. And he’d be mad at the world if something went on during school and he missed it, or if he’d gone off somewhere and he missed it. He wanted to be there.

    Chris wanted to join the service when he grew up so he could learn to be a mechanic, but according to his family, he didn’t even know how to start a lawn mower when he moved to Williford.

    “He’d tear something down and leave it alone,” his mother said.

    But within three years he had learned a lot, and had a 2-month-old son to pass his skills on to. He was just learning how to be a father and a partner to 15-year-old Tiffany Stricklin when he died.

    Tiffany met Chris at school and they got serious more than a year ago. They were making wedding plans.

    “He was the best boyfriend I’ve ever had. He took care of me,” she said. When the baby was born, “he just kept smiling and holding my hand.”

    “He said, ‘Momma look! Momma look!’” his mother exclaimed.

    Landon Blake-Allen Bodkins was born June 29 at 6:07 p.m.. He weighed 6 pounds, 15 1/2 ounces and measured 19 inches.

    Chris was known by the other volunteer firefighters as a fantastic helper, whether at the fire station, at a fish fry, helping somebody in distress on the water or at a wreck. The fire department had a fish fry a week ago and Chris worked all the way through.

    Ronnie McClintock, a volunteer firefighter at Williford, said Chris was a real good person to have on hand. If they needed something, he’d get it.

    “He knew where all the equipment was. He was one of a kind, won’t never run into nobody like him again.”

    Visitation is set for 6 to 8 tonight at the high school gym. Chris will receive full firefighter’s honors at his funeral, to be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the gym.

    Also, a local band, Wild Thang, is planning a benefit concert at a later date. For more information, call 966-3607 or 966-3698.

    Photo below:Chris Bodkins' fiancee, Tiffany, holds a picture of Chris taken recently. They were making wedding plans, before his death Saturday.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by NJFFSA16; 10-10-2006, 03:12 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • bcossey
    replied
    First Time

    I am the stepfather that was driving the (apparatus) my own personal vehicle. Central Dispatch never paged a water rescue, a woman and three kids were trapped near Martin Creek Fire Dept on Martin Creek Road there never was any mention of high water. This is out of our district, we were trying to provide mutual aid for another Dept. I have to cross a low water bridge to leave my house the water was no more than 6 inches deep. High water was the farthest thing from my mind.
    Williford Volunteer Fire Dept has no water rescue, we have never responded to a swift water rescue, and never would because we are not trained or equipped for this.
    Radio communications in this part of the county are minimal at best ,even these new expensive FEMA radios do not do an adequate job.
    For the ones who offered thier condolences Thank You.
    For the ones who want to say anything bad 98 East Mary Rd Williford,Ar is where I live, come visit offer your opinion instead of run your head behind a fictious name on a computer. Bill Cossey Asst Chief Williford Vol. Fire Dept

    Leave a comment:


  • Captnnc
    replied
    Very sad; but avoidable. Strickly a management issue....when will WE learn. Children deserve a chance to grow old! No one can convince me a 16 year old should be put in a life threatening situation and that includes RIDING ON APPARATUS!

    Leave a comment:


  • allison20
    replied
    I'm from a couple counties over from Hardy, and here we do things diffirently than most. The actual firefighter had his step-son and his friend in the car. Out here when we are paged out, most people come from whereever they are to the scene. So the son actualy responding to the call is probably wrong. He was with dad when the pager goes off. And while it will send most of you screeming, it is not unusual for the kids to come to the scene and stay in the vehicles. And the word 'bridge" may be misleading. The creeks around here don't have bridges, but concrete poured and the water flows over the slab year round. I beleave that it was a creek that he was trying to cross when he lost the vehicle.

    Leave a comment:


  • bfdtruckie12
    replied
    So you all know I didnt make this or want to make it a carrer vollie issue I am just stating facts. I live up here by the mighty miss and we have no swimming requirements at ANYY paid or vollie department. I agree if you cant swim stay away from the water.


    Now about this low water bridge. There isnt one spanning the Spring in this area. I believe they were on the road to the camp ground and went over one on the creek but not the actual river. I have canoed this river and I dont remember any bridge like this (granted it has been 15 years or so and this may be a new structure so dont hold me to this)Also if the flood waters were as high as stated it would be up on the road itself not just the bridge so it could have obscured it.


    Chief reason amen bro! The reason this young lad was along is simple. Hardy has 600 people Williford not much more. This area is more of a retirement villiage area. My great grandmother lives in Cherokee Villiage which is staffed by paid firefighters. However over in the likes of Hardy, Williford and Ozark Acres the guys are older memebers retirees from up here in the north. These guys worked for Farmal Case and Deere and retired a loooong time ago!. SO getting the kids not only involved but using them to help in CERTAIN situations is something of a neccesity in this area.I am not saying put packs on them and send them in but they can hold a line out side and spray water to keep structures nearby cool.Or hold a rope in a water rescue situation, or fill in the blank.


    All in all its a sad tradgedy lets just leave it at that. We have all made bad errors in judgement, so lets lay off this guy for his hes already got enough whipping from himself he doesnt need it from us.

    Leave a comment:

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