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community to the rescue - hinckley ohio historical society

Ray Charlton was in that cave from the first to the last. Tom Namoski, despite a sore throat, took up a post there. Denny Selzer and Bob Whitehead came out shaking with fatigue and cramps – several times. Assistant Chief Walt Nawalaniec, in his paint splattered clothes, never left the scene.

Bob Chodera, Don Grimm, Ed Vanderschier, Bob Weaver; all were there – in fact, looking over the roster – all the firemen were there.

Fire Chief Paul Chodera, and Hinckley, had not only a dedicated department but many, many friends.

How can you sum it all up?

So many wonderful people (many unnamed here) did so much. The State Police, the Sheriff and his deputies, Chief Ciammaichella and Hinckley policemen, police and firemen from surrounding communities, volunteers from industrial and mining companies, and just plain volunteers – all were a part in this successful rescue.

Within minutes after Morris Baetzold was safely on his way to Medina Community Hospital, blasts rocked the area as a demolition crew blocked the narrow passageway. Now, Wildcat Cave was bigger and safer, it was there for fun and exploration – and as a reminder that there are wonderful, dedicated, decent, God-fearing people among us.

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