Tenn. FF-EMT treated tornado victims in makeshift living room triage center

Putnam County Firefighter-EMT Darrell Jennings aided at least 20 injured neighbors after a tornado swept through his community


By Laura French

PUTNAM COUNTY, Tenn. — A Tennessee firefighter-EMT said his house was the last one standing after one of several tornadoes swept through his neighborhood last week, so he set up a makeshift triage center in his living room and got to work treating his injured neighbors.

Putnam County Firefighter-EMT Darrell Jennings, a 32-year fire service veteran, told ABC News that he brought in and treated at least 20 people, including children, following the March 3 tornadoes that killed 24 people in the state.

Jennings said he called for help on his fire department radio and checked everyone’s pulse, assessed their breathing and performed sternum rubs.

As Jennings provided medical treatment, he says his wife and three teenage children helped warm children up with their own clothes and walked them through the debris to a nearby church for more help.  

One of the children brought to Jennings’ house died from their injuries, and many others were seriously injured. Tennessee Senator Paul Bailey credited Jennings with saving several lives through his quick actions.

Jennings’ home is now being used as help distribute food and supplies as the community recovers from the disaster.

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