In the News

U.S. Sen. John Boozman honored local EMS workers at the Crawford County Courthouse in recognition of National EMS Week. Boozman was also shown the damage done to the courthouse during the recent tornado.

Crawford County Judge Dennis Gilstrap recognized the local EMS with a proclamation. The proclamation states that the Emergency Medical Service is a vital public service and the members of the EMS are ready to provide lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day. 

The EMS system consists of first responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, dispatchers, firefighters, police officers, and pre-hospital nurses. 

Gilstrap declared that May 19-25 will be known as Emergency Medical Services Week. 

"I encourage the community to observe the week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities," Gilstrap said. 

"We appreciate you so much," Boozman said. "You are indicative of people that, while the rest of us are trying to getting away from danger and terrible circumstances, you are running to the danger."

Brad Thomas, director of emergency services, gave Boozman an overview of the tornado that passed through Crawford County and left damage to the community and the courthouse. 

The tornado that touched down in Van Buren was an EF-1 with wind speeds upwards of 110 MPH. Around 300 homes were damaged in the tornado during its 28-mile long path through the county. 

Flooding in Northern Crawford County was caused by 8 inches of rain that fell in only a few hours, according to Thomas.

The Crawford County Courthouse was affected by the tornado as well. Damage to the roof caused water to pour into the upper levels of the building. 

According to Gilstrap, insurance will cover part of the damage but not the entirety.

"We're desperately looking for grants," said Gilstrap. "We found out we didn't get the historical preservation grant."

Gilstrap and Boozman made their way to the second floor of the courthouse where the damage could be seen firsthand. After looking at the damage, Boozman said he would look into helping the community in any way he can. 

Click here to read the Press Argus-Courier story published on May 22, 2021.