FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Four Florence County sheriff’s deputies have received the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association Valor Award for 2022, according to a news release.
The award is presented to deputies who “perform actions above and beyond the call of duty, exhibit exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness, and presence of mind, or act with unusual swiftness, regardless of their personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect human life,” the release said.
Capt. Rollins Rhodes; Cpls. Tyler Urquhart and Christian Seal; and Deputy Brandon Rowell, were received the award Wednesday at an annual banquet hosted by the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association in Columbia.
Rhodes was honored for his actions on April 11 when he helped a person who was choking at a Lake City restaurant by using the life-saving Heimlich maneuver, the release said.
Urquhart was recognized for his actions on Jan. 5, 2022, when he shot a suspect who had pointed a pistol at him and threatened to shoot him, the release said. Immediately after the shooting, he began life-saving techniques, including chest compressions, on the suspect until EMS arrived.
Urquhart “demonstrated extraordinary compassion and professionalism toward this subject who had just tried to kill him,” the release said.
Seal received his award for his actions on April 18 when he responded to a crash in which a vehicle with several children landed in a body of water and performed life-saving efforts on a two-year-old who was not conscious or breathing. Seal continued those efforts even after EMS arrived and rode with the child in the ambulance to the hospital. The child regained a pulse and began breathing on their own.
Rowell was honored for actions on May 28 while responding to an incident in which a suspect was firing randomly at passing vehicles with a “high-powered rifle and two victims were struck by gunfire,” the release said.
With the active-shooter situation still ongoing, Rowell responded to the vehicle with the wounded victims and immediately began administering first-aid to a juvenile. Rowell put the juvenile in the back of his patrol vehicle and took the child to ambulances that were staged outside the immediate area of the shooter, the release said.
Rowell returned to the scene to begin first-aid on the adult victim until an ambulance arrived to provide treatment and then returned to the active-shooter scene to help set up a perimeter where the shooter was eventually taken into custody. “Rowell exhibited extraordinary valor in providing life-saving aid to the victims of this crime,” the release said.
“None of our deputies begin their duty day expecting or even trying to earn an award,” Sheriff TJ Joye said in the release. “They would tell you they were just doing their job by the way they were trained, and their service to the community is their reward, but we are blessed in this county to have extraordinary people work for us and they make me proud to be their sheriff.”