Deputies awarded in recent swift water rescue incident

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Sheriff Robert Arnold, left, and Fire and Rescue Chief Larry Farley, right, flank the sheriff's deputies and firefighters who saved the lives of four people trapped in a partially submerged car in December at the Elam Mill Road slab. The firefighters and deputies received either Medals of Valor or Sheriff's Commendations. From left are Sheriff Arnold, Engineer Ryan Connelly, Firefighter Daniel Alexander, Deputy Moses Mosby, Firefighter Austin Garner, Lt. Chris Haynes, SRO James Coots, Firefighter Chad Alexander, Lt. Nathan Pagel, Sgt. Brian Wright, Deputy Mike Farmer, Firefighter Nick Brewer and Chief Farley.

Saving the lives of two children and two adults trapped in their partially submerged car earned Medals of Valor and Commendations for six Rutherford County Sheriff's deputies and five Rutherford County Fire and Rescue firefighters.

Sheriff Robert Arnold and Fire and Rescue Chief Larry Farley presented the awards during a ceremony Thursday.

Risking their own lives, some of the deputies and firefighters jumped into Stones River to rescue the two women and two children trapped in the car Dec. 6, 2014. Other deputies and firefighters provided support from the ground.


Maj. Egon Grissom said the Medal of Valor is the highest award presented by the Sheriff's Office and the Fire and Rescue Department.

"The medal is awarded to a member who in the line of duty distinguished himself/herself by the performance of an act of gallantry or valor at imminent personal hazard to live with knowledge of the risk, above and beyond the call of duty," Maj. Grissom said.


Receiving the Medal of Valor were Lt. Chris Haynes, Sgt. Brian Wright and Deputy Mike Farmer and Fire Engineer Ryan Connelly and Firefighter Daniel Alexander.

"The Commendation Medal is awarded for outstanding performance and dedication to duty and outstanding contributions to law enforcement through the success of difficult projects, programs or situations," Maj. Grissom said.

Receiving the Sheriff's Commendation Medal from were Lt. Nathan Pagel, Deputy Moses Mosby and School Resource Officer James Coots. Receiving the Fire Chief's Commendation Metal were firefighters Austin Garner, Chad Alexander and Nick Brewer.

Chief Farley said he was proud of everyone who worked closely to save the lives.

Sheriff Arnold said the deputies and firefighters set the standards. He thanked their families for allow the Sheriff's Office to borrow them for work.

"Our jobs are to return them back to you," Sheriff Arnold said.

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Robert Arnold, Rutherford County Sheriff, Sheriff, water rescue
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