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Isha pays tribute to heroes
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Harrison Ferry Fire Department Chief Lynn Curtis is presented with a certificate of thanks by State Representative Paul Sherrell at a dinner held by Isha Foundation on Thursday. The organization offered its gratitude to the volunteers that helped stop the fire that engulfed Harrison Ferry Mountain. Pictured, from left, are Isha medical director Dr. Kalpana Radjev, Curtis, Sherrell, presenter Madison Briggs and Board of Directors of Isha Jim Broom. - photo by Taylor Moore

Isha Institute of Inner Science hosted a dinner on Thursday evening honoring the firefighters and emergency response personnel who helped extinguish the flames atop Harrison Ferry Mountain in late October. Isha invited members of the McMinnville community to visit the campus for a meal prepared by the nonprofit organization and presented the fire departments with certificates.

Medical director Dr. Kalpana Rajdev spoke about Isha and its goals as an organization. “I do see many servicemen and firefighters in the audience here,” she said, “And we want to especially welcome all of you and honor you because you are our true heroes.”

Rajdev brought up the fire saying, “It was an overwhelming emergency event that happened that really shook this community.” She gave a special thanks to the Harrison Ferry Fire Dept. for being first on the scene. “They were there and then, immediately, they started organizing themselves because it quickly seemed like it was a bigger task than what everyone initially thought.”

Rajdev gave credit and thanked the other fire departments from Warren County and neighboring counties, Tennessee State Representative Paul Sherrell, County Executive Terry Bell and the Tennessee Deptartment of Forestry for their parts in the disaster relief. “So the dinner tonight is just a small token of appreciation for all that you do for the community,” she said, “And we hope that we can continue this interaction, not just in the time of crisis but also in joyous times.”

Sherrell presented Harrison Ferry Chief Lynn Curtis with a certificate, and Bell presented certificates to representatives of other fire departments in the county. Board of Directors of Isha Foundation Jim Broom presented fire departments from outside of the county with certificates as well.

Curtis said, “Like Kalpana said, it was a team effort. I personally want to thank Ramie Roberts, my second in command. We couldn’t have done it without you.” Sherrell took the stage and complimented Isha for their hospitality and food.

“I really don’t deserve to be up here, truthfully,” he said, “because I wasn’t here when the fire took place. You folks were.” He thanked all of the emergency responders and offered his continued support for the community.

Bell went up to offer his appreciation by recognizing the property assessor and individual firefighters that are involved with the county government. He added, “The whole time the fire was going on, you played a crucial role in helping, Mr. Jackie Matheny, Jr, our sheriff.”

He continued by offering thanks to the organization saying, “On behalf of Warren County, I just want to thank Isha for having us, for all of our volunteers that were involved with this fire. Our fire departments are really special, and even if you’re not from Warren County, you don’t realize how good your numbers are until you have an event like this where you need to call them for their help. We just really appreciate what you’ve done for Warren Co., and we couldn’t be prouder of the state of Tennessee, the way everybody has volunteered and helped out. And I just want to thank everybody.”