This week’s Hometown Hero, presented by Hendrick Southpoint, is Chapel Hill Fire Department battalion chief Bill Blankenship.

Blankenship was the incident commander last week when a trench collapse occurred on UNC’s campus, trapping and injuring two construction workers.

Chapel Hill firefighters worked with other authorities to rescue the workers swiftly.

Blankenship credits the preparation that the Fire Department puts in.

“These are possibilities and these are some of the things that we’ve talked about for the last couple of years trying to anticipate,” he said.

“Unfortunately we had to put those into practice today, but it goes to show that a lot of the thinking, the pre-thinking, a couple of years ago and planning and getting this stuff put together, paid great dividends on how we did this successful rescue.”