The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Reporter's Notebook

April 5, 2014

Gilbertsville fire chief gets his due

A local fire chief whose awe-inspiring rescue of a local woman was recounted in a Dec. 11 story in The Daily Star was recently nominated as a “Real Hero” of the American Red Cross.

Gilbertsville Fire Chief Dave Robinson was headed out to go hunting when he realized he had forgotten his coat. Turning back towards home, Robinson noticed swerve marks heading off the road and down into a 60-foot-deep heavily wooded ravine, where he found an abandoned Jeep. Robinson followed footprints into the four-mile-deep woods, where he found an extremely disoriented woman, Danielle M. Fink, carrying a small child.

Robinson carried Fink and the child back to the vehicle and across a small creek, where members of the Gilbertsville Fire Department were waiting to pull them up the steep slope.

Scot Lueck, a member of the Gilbertsville Fire Department, said there was not much doubt that Robinson saved the woman and child’s lives.

“In her disoriented state, she most likely would have wandered through the miles of woods in that area until she was exhausted and then died of exposure along with the child on that 26-degree day,” Lueck said.

After reading this story, Garrick Hoadley, a volunteer with the Mohawk Valley Region’s American Red Cross (which includes Otsego County) said he was struck by the chief’s heroic actions. Hoadley, 77, of Gilbertsville, said The Red Cross is currently seeking nominations for its annual Real Heroes Breakfast, where 12 people are honored for their extraordinary heroic actions in a specific category. Hoadley said he decided to nominate Robinson, who he knows personally, for the “Fire Rescue” category. This is Hoadley’s first time nominating someone for the honor, he said.

“Robinson is well-liked by the community and worthy of recognition for his assistance to the woman and child after that accident,” Hoadley said. “When I read about it, I thought he sounded like a perfect nominee for this award.”

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