FORSYTH, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - As Governor Nathan Deal wraps up his final days in office, he made sure to honor another batch of heroes. The governor handed out his Public Safety Awards to 14 members of law enforcement and emergency services.
They gathered at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center from all across the state. Sheriff's deputies, police officers and firefighters, all here for the same reason. Their actions made a difference.
Like Cobb County firefighter Rusty Brown. FOX 5 aired the dramatic cell phone video of Brown rescuing a 17-year-old boy from the bottom of High Falls State Park in October, 2017. Brown had never attempted a rescue like that where state patrol chopper pilot Greg Merciere had to carefully put them down on the bridge below.
Brown remembered what he was thinking as the two rose high above the falls.
"Oh crap!" he laughed. "Help. Hold on man let's get out of here. Let's both get out of here because it wasn't a fun day."
On the day of the eclipse, Gwinnett County firefighter Daniel Moore was sitting at home when a neighbor called. Two people had found themselves critically injured on the street behind his house when a car hit their trailer pinning them in between. Moore assigned people jobs as he tied a makeshift tourniquet on one man and then asked someone to hold it tight while he stepped into the line of traffic to help the other man.
"Usually have other guys to help me out but I didn't have that that day," he remembered. "So I tried to pick some volunteers who wanted to help and get them to do the correct things to maybe help these people out."
"If you hadn't been there what do you think would have happened to them?"
"I'm pretty sure one of the guys would have bled out," Moore answered.
In July 2017, a member of the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office Crisis Negotiation Team was trying to communicate with a man inside a home on Aikens Way. Instead, the suspect began spraying the scene with an AK-47, more than 70 rounds in all. The negotiator was wounded twice in his right leg. Lieutenant Scotty Spriggs ran to deputy Jon Beival and pulled him to safety, then rushed him to the hospital in his patrol car.
"I got tunnel vision to be honest with you because I wanted to get there to assess them as quickly as I possibly could... render aid that I could regardless of the situation at the time," Spriggs told us.
In May of this year, four White County emergency workers saved a woman's life when her car got swept away during a flash flood. She was hanging from a partially submerged tree in Dukes Creek when they located her screams, carefully working their way through the flood waters to reach her.
"That afternoon we had heavy flooding in the county and we just happened to be a four-man team that located this lady, and my opinion... we did just our job," said White County fire chief Norman Alexander.
That's the universal sentiment from all the honorees. The annual awards started in 1998 to recognize public safety officers who performed an exceptional deed that saved lives or protected property.