A North Callaway Fire Protection District volunteer firefighter injured Friday is recovering, to Fire Chief Lana Karhoff said.
Tim Hays received a serious head injury while responding to a call and was hospitalized. He was struck on the head by a falling branch while his team was cutting down a tree struck by lightning, Karhoff said.
Saturday afternoon, Hays underwent surgery. By Sunday, Hays was responding to verbal commands and breathing on his own following the removal of a ventilator, Karhoff said. He even managed a thumbs-up.
An update Karhoff posted Monday morning stated Hays was continuing to make progress.
"He is still heavily sedated, letting his head heal," she said. "Tomorrow they (may) reduce the sedation and let him wake up fully."
The comments on North Callaway Fire Protection District's Facebook page are full of well-wishers and offers of support from community members and other fire departments.
"We are very humbled by the outpouring from everyone and ask to keep up the prayers," Karhoff said.
She added the Central Callaway Fire department offered its help in responding to calls over the weekend.
"They assisted us in responding to calls so that we could focus on Tim and his family," Karhoff said. "We still had people responding but we're short staffed because several of us were in Columbia. (Their) help took such a burden off of us and I am just so thankful."
She said the department is planning a fundraiser for Hays' family. Karhoff has also started a fundraiser on Facebook: bit.ly/HaysFunds.