Commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District Presents Award To Civilians For Heroic Actions In Port Canaveral
By Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Sheriff // March 16, 2017
Life-Saving Incident happened during Hurricane Matthew
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – I am extremely proud to announce that earlier today, Rear Admiral S.A. Buschman, Cmdr. Of the Seventh Coast Guard District, visited Port Canaveral and presented the 2nd highest award bestowed to civilians, the Meritorious Public Service Award to BCSO Seaport Security Manager John Brady, CCVFD Chief Dave Sargeant, and Assistant Chief John Cunningham.
The awards were presented at the Propeller Club’s monthly meeting for actions taken during Hurricane Matthew, when they collectively worked to save the life of USCG Lieutenant Commander Stephen West who was severely injured in the storm’s aftermath.
As the storm was passing, Manager John Brady was tasked with conducting Port assessments, primarily on the south side where large amounts of highly volatile chemicals are securely stored.
Manager Brady enlisted the assistance of LCMDR West to accomplish this task so he could observe any damage and risks in order to properly arrange and deploy USCG assets.
A team consisting of John Brady, LCMDR Stephen West, John Cunningham and Dave Sargeant assembled to enter the restricted areas. As they were doing so, a sheet of metal roughly six feet by ten feet dislodged from the overhead concrete structure as a result of the damaging wind.
As the piece of metal was blown to the ground it struck LCMDR West in the head resulting in a critical head injury.
Brady, Cunningham and Sargeant immediately jumped into action, administering lifesaving first aid and arranging for emergency medical transport.
The transport ambulance was on Merritt Island and high winds prevented it’s eastbound approach, thus the decision was made to transport LCMDR West on a backboard in the rear of a truck to the waiting ambulance in Merritt Island.
It was subsequently determined that LCMDR West had sustained a fractured skull, which required immediate surgery to remove bone fragments from his brain coupled with severe bleeding.
Due to the incredible efforts by all involved, Commander West has now made a full recovery.
It was truly an honor for Rear Admiral Buschman to present such a prestigious award to these real life heroes who not only placed themselves in harm’s way to protect Port Canaveral during storm conditions, but who also work as a team to render lifesaving treatment to save a fellow public safety member in his time of need.
Please join me in congratulating Manager John Brady of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office as well as Chief Dave Sargeant and Assistant Chief John Cunningham of the Cape Canaveral Fire Department for this prestigious recognition.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.
Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft. That same year the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases. Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today. The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.
Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.
Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.