The St. George Island Lighthouse association has long been a stalwart supporter of the volunteer firefighters on the island and on Chili Cook-off weekend, Chief Jay Abbott returned the favor when he brought out Ladder Truck 7 to rescue an escaped halyard on the flag pole in LighthousePark.
The drama started on a windy morning when a gust took the halyard that hoists the American flag from the lighthouse keeper’s hand and sent it sailing to the top of the pole without the flag. The clasp that normally connects to the flag ended up stuck on the pulley at the top of the pole.
Called to help resolve the problem, Jim Kemp, lighthouse association president, was reluctant to shinny to the top of the 40-foot aluminum flagpole in the brisk wind, so he called Abbott for assistance.
A short time later, Abbott arrived on the 95-foot aerial ladder truck, stabilized it in front of the lighthouse, and the rescue operation began. The chief rode the bucket to the top of the flagpole and released the errant clasp in a matter of minutes, and soon Kemp had Old Glory waving in the breeze.
The ladder truck with “St.GeorgeIsland” emblazoned on its side is always a great source of pride to islanders who have long helped raise funds for our volunteer fire department. And it was great to have two of the tallest icons on St.GeorgeIsland -- the Lighthouse and Ladder Truck 7 – together in a non-emergency display of community cooperation.