Two Franklin County deputies have received awards from the Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge for their separate on-duty, life-saving actions.
"One of our fellow citizens is alive today because of these two police officers' swift and decisive actions," said FOP State Lodge President Chris Southwood. "Their unwavering dedication and life-saving efforts emphasize what it means to serve and protect the public."
The FOP's Life Saving Award, given for outstanding efforts in performing actions or applying techniques that result in saving or sustaining a human life, was awarded to Franklin County Sheriff's Deputies Brice Shaffer and Nicholas Sullivan.
On Feb. 12, Shaffer and Sullivan responded to a call concerning a suicidal woman at the Rend Lake Dam. They located the woman standing on the concrete wall of the bottom of the spillway, but when they called out to her, she jumped into the water.
The deputies called for an ambulance and ran to the spot where the woman had jumped. Since the outside temperature was 32 degrees and water was rushing over the spillway, the deputies feared the woman would be swept away and drown.
When they arrived at the waters edge, the woman was under water and not visible. Shaffer jumped into the water and was able to locate the woman, who was unconscious and not breathing. He tried to hand her up to Sullivan but was unsuccessful, so Sullivan jumped into the water and assisted in getting the still unconscious woman out of the water.
Both deputies then began to administer first aid, and she coughed up water and began to breathe. She was transported to the hospital, where she made a full recovery.
The Fraternal Order of Police, founded in 1915, is the largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States.