WEST (April 20, 2013)--Longtime West physician Dr. George Smith, the town’s EMS director, saved the lives of 100 nursing home residents through his quick actions before the massive fertilizer plant explosion, the McLennan County Medical Society says.
Realizing the potential danger to patients at West Rest Haven, where he serves as medical director, he began moving residents out of rooms on the east side of the building, facing the fertilizer plant.
The nursing home was heavily damaged in the explosion and Smith was injured by flying glass and debris, but he helped pull people to safety, the medical society said.
“Dr. Smith’s immediate action and his evacuation efforts, despite being injured and bloodied himself, make him one of the true stand-out heroes of this tragedy, “Dr. Duchamp said. Dr. Lisa Duchamp, president of the medical society said.
After the blast, Smith joined other first responders, working through the night to organize rescue efforts and treat the injured.
Smith, who helped found the West Volunteer Ambulance Service, has also served as team doctor for West ISD varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams.
He’s a past president of the Kiwanis Club of West, a past president of the Texas Medical Director’s Association, has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association and as a member of the Medicaid Advisory Committee for the state of Texas.
He was chosen to be a torch bearer for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and in 2007 he received a Jefferson Award for his service to the community.