While testing driving several boats at Great Falls with members of the Swift Water Rescue Team of the Council of Governments, Captains Jason Reese and Brian Ferguson and two Fairfax City Fire and Rescue Technicians Kyle Craven and Bill Pittard noticed a group of four people lying on the rocks near the river, an area of strong currents and deadly undertows capable of sweeping people out into the white water current.
As they returned to the docking area, they were notified that four people were in the water in need of rescue. Montgomery County Safety Boat made one rescue, and crew member Pittard stayed with this victim to render emergency care. The remaining crew was then directed to the area in which a female was clinging to a rock in the water. Captain Reese made voice contact with the female victim and continued to talk to her in order to keep the victim calm and to keep the victim from getting into an even more perilous position. Captain Ferguson then moved the boat into a position to rescue the victim from the rock.
Using quick action and calming demeanor while piloting an unfamiliar swift water rescue boat, they were able to prevent further injury or loss of life for four citizens. For their part in this heroic rescue, Captain Jason Reese and Captain Brian Ferguson of the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue are receiving the Bronze Medal for Valor.
*Bronze Medal - Awarded in situations where during the course of an emergency, a public safety official demonstrates extraordinary judgment, ingenuity or performance of his/her duties. May include the saving of a life that is threatened by medical or physical reasons.