Roswell firefighters to be honored for rescuing woman drowning in Chattahoochee

Firefighters James Laudermilk (left) and Andrew Riley (right) (City of Roswell)

Two Roswell firefighters are receiving a major award for their bravery wife saving the life of a woman who was drowning in the Chattahoochee River.

James Laudermilk and Andrew Riley are the recipients of the Georgia State Firefighters Association's 2023 Life Saving Valor Award.

On April 27, bystanders reported that a woman was struggling to keep herself afloat in the river at Don White Memorial Park.

When attempts to get a rope to her failed, Laudermilk and Riley jumped into the water and carried her to safety.

"Thanks to their quick thinking, calm demeanor and exceptional bravery, firefighters Riley and Laudermilk were able to rescue the victim and bring her safely to the shore," Roswell Fire Chief Joe Pennino told Appen Media after the rescue. "Their heroic actions undoubtedly saved her life."

Laundermilk had been with the department since 2013. Riley joined in 2015. Both men serve the city at Fire Station 24.

"I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Firefighters Laudermilk and Riley for receiving this recognition," said Roswell Mayor Kurt Wilson. "Their bravery, dedication, and unyielding commitment to public safety in the Roswell community embody the essence of the Roswell Fire Department. We appreciate all the brave men and women that protect our community each day."

The men will receive their awards during the Roswell City Council meeting at City Hall in November. They will also be recognized at the 2024 Firefighter's Recognition Day at the Georgia State Capitol next February.