That’s my girl!  That’s my man!  You saved my life!That was the emotional exchange between Caryville Mayor and firefighter Bobby Stooksbury and Cathy Chercourt (hugging in top photo) at a Friday reunion for the two coupled with an award ceremony for Stooksbury.

L-R Stooksbury, Chercourt and Caryville Fire Chief Eddie Hatmaker.  Hatmaker did a masterful job of keeping the ceremony a secret.

This story began on Feb. 1, when Chercourt’s Caryville home caught fire.  Stooksbury lives on Lake Lane, down the street from Chercourt’s home, and was the first person on the scene.  Rather than taking time to run to the fire hall for his gear, Stooksbury instead hustled down the street to the fire.

Smoke was showing when Stooksbury arrived.  He went inside the home, and through thick smoke, located Chercourt in the living room.  He was able to get her to the front door just as Caryville Police Officer James McCall made it to the scene and helped Stooksbury carry her out into the yard.  Chercourt was suffering from smoke inhalation.

Stooksbury, a 45- year veteran of the fire department, was awarded with the “Life Saving Award,” and said, “I wasn’t expecting anything like this.”  CFD Fire Chief Eddie Hatmaker said this was the first life saving act he can remember in all his years with the department.

 “That’s the ultimate goal for a firefighter- to save a life.  I’m thankful the Good Lord put me in the place at the right time,” the mayor/firefighter said.

Stooksbury was quick to turn Friday’s noon hour gathering from a “me” event into a “we” event.  He praised Caryville Police Officer James McCall (L above), who was on hand, saying I got her to the door, and James  helped me get her in the yard.

Firefighters arrived at the home three minutes after the call was dispatched and contained the fire to the left back bedroom.  That’s where they located the body of 63-year- old Michael Chercourt, Cathy’s husband.

The Chercourt family had just moved into their new home a few months earlier.   (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/09/2019-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHARLIE HUTSON)




2 Replies to “‘Saving a life is the ultimate goal’ – Bobby Stooksbury, firefighter”

  1. I owe My Life, being saved, To Bobby Stooksbury, Eddie Hatmaker, and James McCall! Without these Men. I would not be here today! They are all a Great group of men! The Caryville Fire Department, and the Caryville Police Department.! And I have Gained New Friends!

  2. I Thank GOD for putting these men where they were needed in order to save my sisters life that morning. I pray GOD will bless these men’s life richly as well as all that were there that morning and helped to save her. Thank all of you from my heart.
    Robin Stanford

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