Brevard Business Leader A.J. Hiers Goes Above and Beyond To Help Paralyzed BCSO Agent Chris Streif
By Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Sheriff // July 10, 2020
BCSO AGENT Chris Streif will return to work in August in special vehicle provided by A.J. Hiers
SHERIFF WAYNE IVEY: I’m asking you to join me in thanking AJ Hiers of Boniface Hiers for his amazing generosity and compassion for other.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – On June 15, 2019, Brevard County Sheriff’s Agent Chris Streif’s entire life changed when he was injured in a diving accident that left him not only fighting for his life but also fighting to take just one more step!
Chris was severely paralyzed during the accident and was told he would never walk again or even be able to use his arms to any significant degree.
Chris, a Brevard County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team member and his wife Wyndy refused to accept the diagnosis and worked together to prove everyone wrong by pushing Chris to the limits during the rehabilitation process.
Their goal was for Chris to recover enough to one day walk again, but more immediate, to prove he could regain use of his arms enough to help care for himself and enjoy various activities.
While that was Chris and Wyndy’s goal, our goal all along was for Chris to recover enough to return to work at our agency in some capacity as we refused to let his accident take him away from our family and team!
WATCH: In June of 2019, Deputy Chris Streiff had the world by the horns. He had just made Agent at the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, was training intensively to represent our SWAT Team at SWAT Round-Up, was an active Tough Mudder Competitor, and was enjoying every STEP of life. (BCSO video)
As Chris progressed, he not only regained use of his arms and hands but did so to the extent that he could help care for himself again and also operate a vehicle that was equipped with hand controls and special features designed for someone in his physical condition.
Knowing Chris was almost ready to return to work our next challenge was finding a vehicle for him to own that would allow him to drive to and from work as well as other activities in his life.
So as I have done many times before I reached out for A.J. Hiers of Boniface Hiers Automotive who is not only an amazing partner to our agency but is also one of the most generous men I have ever met in my life.
When I originally called A.J. it was to ask him to help us locate a suitable vehicle that we could do a fundraiser to purchase and retrofit with the type of controls it would take for Chris to drive.
ABOVE VIDEO: A.J. Hiers was honored as a 2016 Central Florida Humanitarian.
After listening to my request over the telephone, A.J. paused for a moment and then said, “no that will take too long to coordinate I want to just buy Chris and Wyndy the vehicle and have it modified to his needs.”
Now if you know anything about A.J., you know that he refused to listen any further to my suggestion of doing a fundraiser and went to work to change Chris and Wyndy’s life!
As a result, A.J. purchased the van and then contracted with Harry Bachman and his team at Mobility Medical Equipment of Melbourne to fully equip the van for Chris’s needs.
The van has a wheelchair-accessible ramp, electronic hand controls, wheelchair docking system, and so much more that are all perfectly matched and designed to allow Chris to operate the vehicle.
On Thursday, A.J. presented the keys to the vehicle to Chris and Wyndy as Harry and Steve Kellner demonstrated all of the modifications and features to Chris before he proudly drove it off the lot, proving to everyone that heart and a “no quit” attitude will help you achieve your goals no matter what obstacles you face.
While we are all excited that Chris is coming back to work for us in August in a new role, I’m asking you to join me in thanking AJ Hiers of Boniface Hiers for his amazing generosity and compassion for others and also Harry Bachman and the entire Mobility Medical Equipment Team for everything they did to help Chris and Wyndy.
A.J. is an amazing partner with our agency and I truly can’t thank him enough for all he did for Chris and for all he does to support our Animal Care Center.