Tuesday, January 26, 2010

3 Manatee deputies honored for saving couple and cats from fire

Three Manatee County sheriff's deputies - Bryce Meade, John Lawson and Michael Gerholdt - this morning were honored for their roles in saving an elderly couple and their cats from an East Manatee house fire on Jan. 10.

Sheriff Brad Steube describes why they are not only January's Deputies of the Month, but also the recipeints of Distinguished Service Awards:
On the night of January 10th, 2010, Deputy Bryce Meade and Deputy John Lawson responded to a residence for an abandoned 911 call. Upon their arrival, they immediately observed a structure fire with flames and heavy smoke coming from inside. They yelled for anyone inside and a faint voice responded. Both deputies entered the residence and located a paralyzed elderly woman lying in a burning hospital bed and connected to medical tubes and wires. As Deputy Lawson was carrying the woman outside, the woman indicated that her husband and cats were still inside the residence. Deputy Meade went outside for a breath of fresh air and returned inside to find the man attempting to extinguish the fire. The man did not want to leave his residence, but she was able to remove him away from danger. Deputy Michael Gerholdt entered the residence and rescued the couple’s two cats before the fire consumed the home.

Deputy Meade, Lawson and Gerholdt risked their own personal safety and demonstrated teamwork and extraordinary bravery to prevent the loss of lives, for which they are awarded Deputy of the Month for January 2010 and the Distinguished Service Award.

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