At 1:18 pm, on June 22, 2006, the Wellington Fire District responded to a 911 call for a water rescue, in Wellington Township. The department's Dive Rescue members responded to the call, with initial reports of two juveniles, in the water. The initial attempt to save the juveniles, who had attempted to drive their vehicle through the road closed barricades and rushing water, was unsuccessful. During a second attempt to reach the juveniles, Diver Allan "Buz" Anderson, Jr. entered the water, attached to a safety line. Water conditions rapidly deteriorated and he was overcome by the water current. At that point, the diver was extricated by rescue personnel using his attached safety line.
While Anderson was being removed, additional personnel successfully reached the two victims and removed them safely from the water.
After Anderson was removed from the water, medical care was initiated by fire and EMS personnel. He was eventually transported by Lifeflight to Cleveland Metro Hospital. Resuscitation efforts at the hospital were unsuccessful.
Al "Buz" Anderson was 47 years old. He served on the Wellington Fire District's Dive Rescue team for four years and was a trained swift water rescue diver with fifteen years experience. Buz was married to his wife Julie for 20 years and had four children.
This is the third Line of Duty death for the Wellington Fire District in its 125 year history and first in thirty years. The firefighters and Board of Trustees of the Wellington Fire District extend their sincere sympathy to the Anderson family and want it known that their brother died a hero.
A memorial fund has been established for the family at:
The Farmers Savings Bank
502 South Main Street
PO Box 438
Wellington, Ohio 44090
The Allan "Buz" Anderson, Jr. Memorial Fund, #210621369
Funeral and visitation services are as follows:
Visitation: Monday, June 26, 2006
Wellington High School
629 North Main Street
Full Honor Service: Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Written and photos by Wellington Fire District