HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Three Horry County Sheriff's Office deputies received the 2015 Medal of Valor Award in Columbia Thursday night for saving the life of a Conway woman during the historic flood in October 2015.
The South Carolina Sheriff's Association Medal of Valor is awarded each year to deputies around the state who go above and beyond their normal duties. Twenty-three men and women were given the award this year, and this is the first time since Sheriff Phillip Thompson was elected in 2000 that an Horry County deputy has received one.
On October 4, 2015, Lt. Scott Bower, Corrections Officer Donnell Hargrove, and Corrections Officer Jake Thompkins worked together to rescue and revive Amber Lloyd, who slipped in swirling flood waters and was sucked into a drain pipe.
"When the Officers located Amber, she was bluish purple with no sign of life. Officers immediately began administering CPR and continued CPR until she showed a slight sign of life with a movement of her lips and eye movement under her eye lids," states a news release from the HCSO. "Amber was then carried to the back of Lt. Bower's personal pickup truck and was driven slowly to meet the ambulance and other rescue workers, which could not get directly to the scene due to other vehicles blocking the road."
Amber received treatment at a nearby hospital and was released on October 7.
All three officers were off-duty at the time of the rescue – Lt. Bower was leaving work at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center, and officers Hargrove and Thompkins were on their way into work. After the rescue, they changed clothes and went to work at the detention center, the release states.
"This display of heroism to help people in need and putting other people's lives above their own, even when they are "off duty" shows the character of these men," the release states. "Sheriff Thompson had the honor of presenting the medals to our deputies during the ceremony tonight. We are extremely proud of each of them and honored to call them 'Our Heroes'!"