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Quake anniversary: Louisa High student recalls the day

 When the quake hit, volunteer firefighter and then-Louisa High student Donald 'Diesel' Embrey helped evacuate people and tend to the injured. He will join the Navy in January.
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Date published: 8/23/2012


"This has been an opportunity for members of the Youth Preparedness Council to share their ideas, experiences, solutions and questions on youth disaster preparedness with FEMA, other federal agencies and national organizations," Fugate said. "Engaging youth is critical to including the whole community in national preparedness. The Youth Preparedness Council is contributing to set a national agenda for how young people play a role in emergency management."

Embrey said the group, which will meet via telephone conference in the future, is currently working on developing community projects. He said he would like to plan a community day for Louisa to promote community awareness.

The earthquake's epicenter was in the town of Mineral, which was later declared a major disaster area. Louisa County suffered damage to homes, businesses and school buildings. Thomas Jefferson Elementary and Louisa County High had to be torn down and will be rebuilt. Students at those schools are currently attending classes in modular units.

FEMA awarded more than $22 million to help rebuild the schools, and also provided more than $13.1 million in disaster relief funds to more than 5,000 residents of Fredericksburg and the counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Goochland, King George, Louisa, Orange and Spotsylvania.

Embrey, who has had the nickname "Diesel" ever since he can remember, said he is excited about this opportunity to work with FEMA and give back to his community--something he has been doing since he was 10, when he started volunteering for the Louisa Rescue Squad.

At 16, he joined the Mineral Volunteer Fire Department. He is also a Community Emergency Response Team volunteer and is certified in CPR/first aid and incident command structure. The 2012 graduate joined the Navy and leaves for boot camp in January.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419
Email: psmith@fredericksburg.com

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