"From the beginning to the end, it's all the same. There's no relief." When Tony Armour got the call, he knew this one was different. "It seems to have taken a toll that is not letting go." In his 25 years as Muhlenberg County Coroner, Tony has never seen heartbreak like this. "Little innocent children, you have to look hard- why? Why?"
A nightmare this community can't wake up from, profound and sudden loss. Nine people lost in an overnight fire, eight of them children. "I'm getting weak, my heart's heavy."
Meanwhile, EMT Genon Putnam, who was sick last Thursday, sat by the scanner as her husband responded to the call. "The voices of the firemen was terrible. They felt sort of helpless." And in a county as small as Muhlenberg, and a family as big as the Watsons, the loss is felt by all. "I don't think there was a family who wasn't touched in our county."
And through the persisting devastation, those in Muhlenberg County will find comfort in friends, strength with time, and answers through faith. Putnam explains, "Sometimes God calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms his child."
For their heroic actions during last week's fire, many of them working as volunteers throughout the night and the bitter cold, we salute all the first responders in Muhlenberg County- the sheriff's and police departments, the firefighters, EMTs, dispatchers and the coroner's office in this week's Behind the Badge.