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A deputy will receive HCSO's highest award for rescuing four individuals from the Tampa Bay after their boat sank.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office will host its Quarterly Awards Ceremony this Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. at the Falkenburg Road Jail Assembly Room. As a major highlight of the event, HCSO will issue its highest and most exclusive award for valor to a deputy for his heroic efforts to save an incapacitated man.
This ceremony serves to both highlight outstanding Sheriff's Office personnel as well as community individuals and businesses that have contributed above the call of duty. Additionally, retirees and long time service employees will be recognized for their service.
Below is just a highlight of some of the stories we will share and awards we will present.
Medal of Valor
A deputy will receive HCSO's highest award for rescuing four individuals from the Tampa Bay after their boat sank earlier this April. Upon arriving on the scene, the deputy saw a male struggling to keep his head above the water. Facing seven-foot seas and 30 mph winds, the deputy jumped into the water without hesitation or regard for his own safety and swam the man back to the HCSO vessel. Three other victims were clinging to a channel marker without life jackets. Due to the conditions, the HCSO boat could not get close enough to help so, once again, the deputy jumped into the water. He saved all three individuals by swimming each person individually back to the boat in the rough waters.
"Imagine facing double-digit wind gusts, seven-foot seas and victims that were already panicked from trying to survive after a boating accident," said HCSO Sheriff Chad Chronister. "Well, this deputy didn't think about it. He acted without hesitation and saved four people from a perilous situation. Our bar for this award is high and it was earned several times over in this case."
Life Saving Award
- Three deputies will be recognized for their life-saving efforts in relation to the boating accident described above. All three assisted in stabilizing each recovered victim and rendered medical aid until emergency medical services could treat them on shore.
- A deputy rendered CPR to an unresponsive victim who was without a pulse and not breathing. Thanks to his efforts, the victim regained his breathing and heartbeat while on the way to the hospital. Thanks to the deputy's efforts, the man survived.
- While at lunch, a deputy overheard a father ask his son if he was OK. His son was choking on his food. The deputy rushed to the young boy and performed the Heimlich maneuver dislodging the food and saving his life.
- Robert Blair will be recognized for his homeless outreach program, "Bags of Brotherly Love."
- Gator Fred's Fun and Party Center will be will be recognized for their commitment to the community, youth mentorship and partnering with HCSO.
- Florida Forklift will be honored for their long-standing commitment in both time and resources to the Sheriff's Office by always providing deputies unsolicited meals and goodies. Their kindness and support to our Agency seemingly knows no bounds.
- Tampa Crossroads will be recognized for their support of homeless causes related to Veterans.
Civilian of the Year - Rivera Borres is a forensic print specialist and has been with HCSO for over 17 years. His constant, steady and meticulous work have brought great credit to him and the agency over his time in service.