On Monday, October 14, 2013, Rosheen Blackmon, an 11th grader at Walton High School, assisted a fellow student who got an article of food lodged in his air passage during lunch. Blackmon noticed the student having trouble and immediately began performing the “Heimlich maneuver” on the student. Within several seconds the maneuver dislodged the food substance and the student was able to breath. Blackmon remained calm throughout the incident and without his quick action there may have been a different result. Blackmon performed flawlessly under pressure and saved the student’s life.
Sheriff Adkinson stated “Rosheen displayed true heroic action in saving the life of another and he should be commended for coming to the aid of a fellow classmate.”
Colten Nelson, a 1st grader at West Defuniak Elementary was recognized today, as a big hero by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. While visiting with his grandparents on September 17th, Colten, age 6, saved the life of his two year old brother, Caleb, who nearly drowned in a family pool.
While Colten was jumping on a trampoline in his grandparent’s back yard, he noticed that his grandparents were looking for his young brother. Colten also began to look and noticed something floating in the pool but initially thought it was trash. He then realized that it was not trash, it was his little brother. Colten immediately got off of the trampoline, jumped into the water knowing he could not touch the bottom, grabbed his little brother and swam with him to the side of the pool and began to yell for his grandparents. The grandparents pulled both boys up out of the water and at that time, Colten’s little brother was unresponsive and blue. Caleb was transported to the hospital, stayed overnight and released the next day with a clean bill of health.
In presenting the award, Sheriff Adkinson praised Colten for his courage and quick action in saving his brother’s life. Deputy Matt Key, School Resource Deputy at Colten’s school, stated “everyone needs to know that big heroes can come in small sizes.”
Deputy Blake McCormick has been chosen as the Walton County Sheriff’s Office sworn employee of the quarter for 2013. The announcement was made during an awards ceremony held this afternoon. Deputy McCormick has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2007 and is currently assigned to the School Resource Deputy (SRD) Unit at South Walton High School. Deputy McCormick has a natural ability to connect with students on their level and they have accepted him not only as a deputy but as a role model they can relate to and trust. Deputy McCormick is a consummate professional to the law enforcement profession and has helped improve the SRD program by building a personal and professional bond between him and the school administrators and students. David S. Preast, Principal, of South Walton High School stated, “I have worked with many other School Resource Officers over the last fifteen years in secondary school settings as a teacher and the last eight years as an administrator. I can honestly say that Blake McCormick is by far the most dedicated and hardest working School Resource Deputy I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”
In addition, Deputies Brad Barfield and Deputy Casey Lloyd both received Lifesaving Medals this afternoon for responding to a swimmer in distress. On June 10, 2013, a seven year old boy in an inner-tube was swept away from his father due to a very strong rip current at Grayton Beach State Park. Both deputies were able to get father and son safely to shore and are commended for their quick response and outstanding performance. A third officer, Deputy Monty Lollie, also received a Lifesaving Medal for responding to a medical assist call at Lowe’s on June 30 in reference to an individual who was unresponsive and not breathing. Deputy Lollie attached the leads of his AED and shocked the individual twice. A follow-up was made and the individual was in stable condition and was being prepped to have a pacemaker procedure. It should be noted that Deputy Lollie responded to the medical call before it was transferred as a medical assist and he is praised for his hard work and attention to detail.
Deputies April Hantzis and Deputy Eric Traugott received a Meritorious Service Medal for responding to a Water Rescue at 15 Beach Walk Lane on June 9th. There was a swimmer in distress 75 yards off shore and the surf was rough with a strong rip current. Both deputies entered the water to assist the lifeguards in getting the swimmer out of the water. Sadly, the individual did not survive. Deputy Hantzis and Deputy Traugott risked their own lives to try and save another and they are commended for their bravery despite the danger.
Top Left Photo: Deputy McCormick
Top Right Photo: Deputy Lollie
Middle Photo: Deputy Barfield (left) and Deputy Lloyd
Bottom Photo: Deputy Hantzis (left) and Deputy Traugott
The Walton County Sheriff Office Santa Patrol will be working with the Matrix Community Outreach Center in Defuniak Springs to better reach the neediest population of Walton County. For those who are seeking assistance in Christmas gifts for their children, families must bring the following information:
(1) A parent or guardian within the household who is applying for assistance MUST bring a Photo ID such as a Driver’s License showing a Walton County address.
(2) Social Security Card and Birth Certificate for each child receiving assistance.
(3) Paperwork showing income level.
The Matrix Community Outreach Center is located at #37 N. 9th Street, Defuniak Springs. Due to the increasing number of people needing assistance, there will be 95 applications accepted on each of the following dates:
Tuesday Nov. 5th from 12:00 to 4:30
Thursday Nov. 7th from 9:00 to 12:00
Saturday Nov. 9th from 9:00 to 3:00
The Santa Patrol of the Walton County Sheriff‘s Office is funded by the businesses and local residents of Walton County. The Santa Patrol is partnered with the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities of Northwest Floria, First Baptist Church of Defuniak Springs and the First United Methodist Church of Defuniak Springs.
For more information please contact Candy Nowling, Managing Director of the Matrix Community Outreach Center at 850.892.1090.