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Emergency responders honored for first time in Dowagiac

DOWAGIAC, Mich. - Emergency responders were honored Wednesday night for the first time in Dowagiac’s history because of their role in saving a woman’s life in a horrific car crash.

The firefighters and EMS personnel who responded to a fatal crash back in February saved a 20-year-old woman, but her son and the father of her baby died at the scene.

Now—the community is saying thank you to the men and women who voluntarily responded to the worst crash they say they’ve seen in decades.

“No words says how thankful I am that they were able to bring her out of that alive,” said Angela Lister, the mother of the woman who survived the crash.

Indian Lake and Sister Lakes volunteer fire departments, along with Pride Care Ambulance, saved Angela Lister’s 20-year-old daughter, Allison, from a horrific car crash back in February.

Her three-year-old son, Wyatt, and father of her baby, 21-year-old Jordan White, died at the scene.

“This is unthinkable. You can’t prepare yourself for that knock on the door,” said Lister.

“In 25 years, this is the worst accident we have dealt with. This is the worst thing I’ve seen…It’s very traumatic on the firemen. We train our guys how to handle responding to the call, handling the call, but nobody really teaches you how to handle your emotions afterwards,” said Bryan Huggins, Chief of the Indian Lake Fire Department.

“These people are amazing. …They pulled her out of that wreckage and saved her life, and because of them, I get to bring my daughter home,” said Allison’s mother.

That’s why Silver Creek Township honored these volunteers Wednesday night.

“This is the first time our fire department has ever asked anybody to be recognized for the work they’ve done. I don’t think the township has ever recognized any law enforcement or fire before, so this is a first,” said Chief Huggins.

The work they do for free after training for nearly 300 hours.

“We don’t have a lot of people banging our doors down, but it’s nice to get an award. It’s nice to be recognized, and maybe this will stimulate someone in the community to say, hey I’d like to do that,” said Indian Lake Assistant Fire Chief, Robert Smith.

Allison’s mother hopes so, because she says she’s eternally grateful they were there.

“I love all of you medical responders. You—I don’t know if you’ll ever understand how important you guys are to Dowagiac. We appreciate you,” said Lister.

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