Palm Bay Heroes Receive Community’s Gratitude
By Space Coast Daily // September 6, 2012
Praised For Valor
BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY – Four of Palm Bay’s finest will be receiving special recognition tonight by the mayor and council during the city of Palm Bay’s regularly scheduled public meeting.
Two Palm Bay police officers and two firefighters will be recognized for separate acts of heroism that made a positive difference in the safety and security of the citizens of Palm Bay.
On July 14, Palm Bay Police officers James Bearden and Shane Carroll were tasked with locating and arresting a suspect for aggravated assault with a firearm after the suspect threatened to kill family members.
As they attempted to conduct surveillance of the area and obtain information they encountered the suspect in the driveway of his home on Sea Grape Street N.E. The suspect immediately began resisting officers and opened fire.
As the officers retreated, Officer Bearden was shot in the neck. Officers Bearden and Carroll returned fire, but during the exchange of gunfire the officers maintained composure, communicated with each other and tactically retreated to positions of safety.
Backup officers arrived to render aid to the injured officers who were later transported to the hospital for treatment. The SWAT team and crisis negotiators subsequently responded and after a standoff that lasted several hours, the suspect finally surrendered without further incident.
“Officer James Bearden and Officer Shane Carroll used sound judgment and tactics while attempting to arrest a suspect that presented a very real threat to the public and other officers,” said Sgt. Tim Lancaster. “Their ability to communicate and make tactical decisions, under extreme duress, saved their own lives that night and undoubtedly the lives of other officers and innocent civilians.”
Palm Bay firefighters Lt. Jim Hamor and Firefighter Matthew St. Pierre are being recognized for their off-duty efforts to save the life of a woman who collapsed behind the wheel of her vehicle while driving.
At 7:30 a.m. July 22, Lt. Hamor was heading home after completing his shift. While driving on Babcock Street near Port Malabar Boulevard, he noticed a slow moving vehicle. The vehicle was heading south toward him.
Lt. Hamor glanced at the driver and noticed she appeared to be in distress.
The vehicle continued southbound and crossed the median into oncoming traffic.
At that time, he turned around and positioned his vehicle in front of hers in an attempt to get her to stop.
Once he stopped the vehicle, he made contact with the driver who was unconscious and barely breathing. Firefighter Matthew St. Pierre, who was also on his way home, pulled up to render aid.
The woman stopped breathing and the two firefighters immediately began CPR while an off-duty police officer controlled traffic in the area.
Lt. Hamor notified emergency dispatchers to send rescue units. The woman was stabilized, transported to the hospital and survived what appeared to be a heart attack.
“These firefighters are shining examples of the type of character we all admire,” said Palm Bay Fire Chief Jim Stables. “When they encounter someone that needs help, whether on duty or not, they will always do the right thing; and in this case, they saved a life.”