CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Before he became the fire chief at Princeton's volunteer fire department a month ago, Chad Bailey had handled his fair share of emergencies.
He had mostly done things like escort people out of burning buildings before putting out those fires - nothing too dramatic.
But this week, just a few weeks since he came on board as the fire chief, the department has handled two dramatic rescues: Earlier this week, firefighters rescued a woman from a burning building, and on Wednesday, they performed the most dramatic rescue Bailey can easily remember, rescuing a woman and her son from their vehicle as it was carried down a creek.
"I remember having rescues before, but now it's all these dire emergencies all together," he said. "But we've always been able to get the person out OK."
They aren't sure how the woman's car made it into Brush Creek, although Davis suspects she may have had a medical emergency at the wheel. They received a call Wednesday afternoon about an SUV that had gone into the water just a quarter mile from the station.
Usually, that creek isn't much of a threat. Bailey said that on a normal day he can see the bottom of the creek at that point in the road and it's barely as wide as an SUV from bank to bank. But Wednesday's rain had caused the creek to swell, forming a larger, more dangerous, rushing stream.
By the time firefighters got there, just minutes after receiving the call, the vehicle had started to sink.
A young boy about 9 years old was able to get out through a window and swim to the bank on his own, but his mother was left in the vehicle as it sank and moved further downstream.
"Thankfully the car actually got caught on a bridge beam that kept it from going under the bridge and moving more," Bailey said. "That meant we were able to keep it in one place and deal with it better."
Firefighters jumped onto the car and broke through a rear window, pulling the woman to safety. She was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated.
"She's very lucky," Bailey said. "It didn't take long for water to go over the hood of the car after they got her out of it."
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.