Harlan County Rescue Squad Lt. Scotty Moore was critically injured Thursday night while he was working on a family-owned bulldozer at a garage in the Grays Knob area of Harlan County.
Moore, 21, was severely burned over the majority of his body in an explosion.
Moore, of Evarts, was airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., where he was placed on life support. Because of the extent of his injuries, he was transferred to a burn trauma center in Augusta, Ga.
Moore has undergone one surgery and more are expected. His stepmother, Lindsey, said he is in critical condition but stable.
"If not for the quick response of his friends and first responders and the good Lord holding him in his hands, he would not have made it out of Harlan," Lindsey Moore said.
"This is going to be a long and painful process for him. We are all very exhausted and still shocked by all of this, so I ask for all of our friends and family to lift him up in prayer every chance you get. This is going to be life changing for us all for some time."
Rescue squad Sgt. Willie Galloway said he and other squad members have watched Scotty Moore grow up.
"Lt. Moore is a very dedicated member, and is just as dedicated to the citizens of Harlan County as he is to his family and friends," Galloway said. "I've watched him grow up in the squad and he has made an amazing leader. If you pray, or know someone who does, send all you can up for our brother."
After Moore was injured Thursday night, friends and squad members traveled to Holston Valley to be by his family's side.
Harlan County Rescue Squad Capt. Chris Allen also traveled to Augusta, Ga., Thursday night to be with the family. The Enterprise was able to talk to Allen on the phone Friday.
"This couldn't hurt me any worse than if it was my own son," Allen said. "Scotty feels like a son to me. He has been around us in the rescue squad since he was a little boy. He has always been a volunteer I could count on and is dedicated to helping the people of Harlan County. Now, Scotty and his family are going to need Harlan County's help."
Squad member Juanita Cole said Moore's doctors said he will be hospitalized for many months and will have to undergo numerous surgeries. Cole said Scotty's parents and other family members will be by his side through the ordeal and will need financial support from Harlan County friends.
An account for Scotty has been set up through the Bank of Harlan. All donations can be made in the bank directly or mailed to the bank at Scotty Moore Medical Fund P.O. Box 919, Harlan, KY 40831.
The family said Scotty is a heavy equipment operator. He was laid off from a coal mine almost a year ago, and had been looking for work since.