First responders take it to the court


The uniforms are off, the badges have been left at home and the game is on. Firefighters, Search and Rescue team members, police officers, 911 dispatchers and EMS will go head to head on the basketball court.

Local first responders are mixing it up on the court on Saturday to help benefit Adair County Search and Rescue.

The teams are more than just about emergency services—they bring in both of the local radio stations as well. There will be two teams: “Team Lisa,” led by Lisa Clark from 93.5 WAIN, and “Team Tammy,” led by Tammy Sexton of 92.7 WHVE.

Clark joked on Tuesday night that she couldn’t practice because she hurt her back earlier in the day, but she would be ready for Sexton come game time.

“I will be fine Saturday night,” Clark joked. “If I have to be in a wheelchair Saturday night, I will be there.”

Sexton and Clark have worked together at various events in the community throughout the years, including playing during the Harlem Wizard games.

“Tammy is all about helping,” Clark said. “We’ve always worked good together.”

This event will help raise funds for the local Search and Rescue team, which Clark said is always there when there is an emergency no matter what it is.

While the first responders mostly meet in times of distress, the agencies will get a chance to be in a more relaxed setting. Ricky Collins, of Search and Rescue, joked that naturally there would be some “jabbing” during the game between everyone.

Also during the game is a three-point shoot out contest, door prizes, raffle and concessions throughout the night. Various local businesses donated funds.

The three point shoot out prizes are $100 first prize and $50 second prize during half time, sponsored by Duo-County Telecom and the Adair County Community Voice. Contestants will be drawn at random from tickets.

Tony Grider and Shannon Rowe, Search and Rescue board members, got together last year and decided to host an event for Search and Rescue to help fund general operating expenses.

The point of the game is not only to help raise money for Search and Rescue, but it’s also a time to help promote teamwork between the agencies.

Grider said people in emergency services have a good relationship but are often together during hectic occasions.

“Typically when this group of people are all together it is at an unfortunate time,” Grider said. “There’s a lot going on and we’re trying to get through a tragic situation the best we can.”

Grider said these types of events help bridge the gap between agencies.

“These people pride themselves on brotherhood,” Grider said. “Some have it stronger than others, so this is a chance to add to that.”

Rowe said they haven’t had an interagency game in nearly 15 years. He said the game would be fair this year mainly because each department has been split up between both of the teams.

On the roster for the event are Search and Rescue members Collins, Ruben Smith, Brandon Willis; Columbia-Adair firefighters Chris Bragg, Grider, Dennis Loy, Terry Flatt; Columbia Police officers Jordan Dean, Gary Roy, Jamie Cole; sheriff deputies Aaron Rainwater, Jarrod Conover and Sheriff Harrison Moss; Breeding firefighters Daniel Cook, CR Drake; Knifley firefighters Jeramy Stearns and Tommy Dickson; and 911 dispatchers Zack Giles and Brock Scholl. Rowe said they will continue to add to the roster.

The game will be held Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m. at the Adair County Middle School. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door and free admission for children three years old and under. All proceeds will go to the general operating fund for Adair County Search and Rescue. For more information, call Rowe at 634-2345.

By Allison Cross

Left is CR Drake of Knifley Fire Department and Terry Flatt, the Columbia city fire chief.

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