‘They make me proud’: Four Florence County deputies receive state Valor Award

Four Florence County deputies were recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Four Florence County deputies were recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty.(Source: Florence County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 1:56 PM EST
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FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Four Florence County deputies were recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Capt. Rollin Rhodes, Cpl. Tyler Urquhart, Cpl. Christan Seal and Deputy Brandon Rowell each received the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association Valor Awards for 2022.

The award is given to those “who perform actions above and beyond the call of duty, exhibit exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness, and presence of mind, or act with unusual swiftness, regardless of their personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect human life.”

Rhodes received his award after performing the Heimlich Maneuver on April 11 at a restaurant in Lake City.

“Without the prompt response and lifesaving efforts from Captain Rhodes, this situation could have had a much different result,” the Florence County Sheriff’s Office said.

Urquhart received his Valor Award for his actions on Jan. 5, 2022 during an officer-involved shooting. The sheriff’s office said he was involved in a chase after the suspect didn’t pull over during a traffic stop.

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The chase turned into a foot pursuit where at one point “the suspect turned on Urquhart, pointed an AR pistol at him and threatened to shoot him,” a press release stated.

The sheriff’s office said Urquhart fired two shots and hit the suspect, but then immediately started life-saving techniques to save the suspect.

“Urquhart demonstrated extraordinary compassion and professionalism toward this subject who had just tried to kill him,” the sheriff’s office stated.

Seal was recognized for his actions on April 18 while he was responding to an accident on North Williston Road where several children ended up in a body of water.

“Corporal Seal immediately began life saving efforts on a two year old child who was not conscious or breathing, including chest compressions,” according to the sheriff’s office.

He continued those efforts even after EMS arrived and road with the child in the ambulance, and while on the way to the hospital, the child regained a pulse and began breathing on its own.

Rowell’s actions during an active shooter incident on May 28 were recognized.

A suspect started randomly firing a rifle at cars along Old River Road, when he hit two victims, one of which was an eight-year-old boy.

Rowell responded to the shooting and immediately began life-saving measures on the eight-year-old.

RELATED COVERAGE | Florence man accused of randomly shooting at cars, killing 8-year-old boy

“He determined that the best course of action was to evacuate the juvenile in the back of his patrol vehicle to waiting ambulances which had staged outside the immediate area of the active shooter,” the sheriff’s office revealed. “After placing the juvenile into the hands of Paramedics, Rowell returned to the incident scene to begin first aid on the adult victim.”

Sadly, the eight-year-old boy succumbed to his injuries.

Sheriff TJ Joye and other members of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office were present for the awards ceremony on Wednesday.

“None of our deputies begin their duty day expecting or even trying to earn an award,” Joye stated. “They would tell you they were just doing their job the way they were trained, and their service to the community is their reward. But we are blessed in this County to have extraordinary people work for us and they make me proud to be their Sheriff.”